Date: 26 Oct 2006

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to Parents of Children Involved with Child Welfare: A Study of Racial and Ethnic Differences for American Indian Parents

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Abstract

American Indian (AI) parents of children involved with child welfare were compared to White, Black and Hispanic parents on mental health and substance abuse problems and access to treatment. Data came from the National Study of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, a longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of children aged 0–14 years involved with child welfare. Weighted statistics provided population estimates, and multivariate logistic regression was used to predict the likelihood of caregivers receiving mental health or substance abuse services. There were significant disparities in the likelihood of receiving mental health, but not substance abuse, services. Unmet need for mental health and substance abuse treatment characterized all parents in this study. AI parents fared the worst in obtaining mental health treatment. Parents of children at home and of older children were less likely to access mental health or substance abuse treatment.