Monday, December 17, 2012

Grant will help fund mental health care for foster kids

You may have missed the news when it came out last month, but with renewed national focus on mental health issues in the wake of a tragic school shooting in Connecticut last Friday, we think it's worth posting.

Our state is the recipient of a federal grant that will help fund the enhancement of mental health services for children in our foster care system.

While the amount - $639,000 - may not seem very large, every dollar goes to improving the process for identifying children in need of such services, streamlining coordination between mental health professionals and child welfare workers, and increasing our state's capacity to deliver care to those kids who need it most.

Even better, there is the possibility that the grant will expand over the next four years.

Children who enter the foster care system are at a high risk for mental health problems due to abuse, severe neglect, and the trauma of being removed from their family homes.  Identifying those children who may have a mental health disorder and getting them the services they need - the sooner, the better - greatly improves their chances for a positive outcome.

Here is the press release from the Department of Social and Health Services, and here is a brief piece the Columbian newspaper published about the award.

Read this story in Spanish here.