Administrative Barriers to the Adoption of High-Quality Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care: A National Study

  • Ramesh Raghavan
  • Moira Inkelas
  • Todd Franke
  • Neal Halfon
Original Paper


While the need to provide appropriate mental health services to children in foster care is well recognized, there is little information on administrative barriers to assuring that such services are provided. This article presents results from a national survey of mental health agencies to profile their awareness of currently available practice standards, the roles these standards play in guiding practice of mental health agencies, common reimbursement strategies in use for mental health services, and collaborations between mental health and child welfare agencies that enhance children’s access to appropriate mental health care. Implications and recommendations for mental health policymakers are discussed.


Children Mental health Foster care Quality Child welfare 



This study was funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) through a partnership with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) with advisory input from the Public-Private Partnership Subcommittee of a Technical Advisory Group convened by MCHB and ACF. Federal partners included the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The survey was developed and fielded by the National Center for Infant and Early Childhood Health Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles with funding from the MCHB. The authors thank Alex Zepeda for work on a previous version of this manuscript, Alan Steinberg for helpful suggestions on a previous version of this manuscript, and Preston Finley for assistance with the references. The opinions expressed in this article are those of its authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of MCHB, CMS, ACF, SAMHSA, or the National Center for Infant and Early Childhood Health Policy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramesh Raghavan
    • 1
  • Moira Inkelas
    • 2
  • Todd Franke
    • 3
  • Neal Halfon
    • 4
  1. 1.George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Department of PsychiatryWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities; Department of Health ServicesUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities; Department of Social WelfareUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities; Department of Pediatrics; Department of Public Policy; Department of Health ServicesUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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