Why Mental and Behavioral Health matters to us
The passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 now provides states, tribes, and territories with the option to use federal child welfare funds for prevention activities, including mental health services. These services can be provided to children at imminent risk of placement into foster care, pregnant or parenting youth in foster care, and parents and/or relative caregivers of children at imminent risk.
As mental health services are being implemented across the country, it's critical for Child Welfare leaders to consider the perspectives of former foster youth, relative caregivers, and parents.
“Inpatient treatment centers for families, where both parents and children can receive treatment together and heal together.”
Mental and Behavioral Health resources that include Family Voices
Family Voices United White Paper
In April 2021, Family Voices United asked caregivers, parents, and youth, “Sometimes a parent's mental or behavioral health (including addiction) leads to a child entering foster care. What specific type of supportive services could be provided to families to better help them remain together?”
With over 70 perspectives, hear constituents discuss the support services and resources to help families facing behavioral health and addiction challenges remain resilient and out of the foster care system.
Family Voices United Podcast
Listen as Family Voices United members share their experiences on how mental health supports can make a difference for families.
Birth Parent National Network Brief
Hear from parents engaged in the Child Trust Fund Alliance Birth Parent National Network with prior experiences with addiction. The child welfare system will share their perspectives on “what works” in substance abuse recovery to strengthen protective factors in families and ensure children’s safety and well-being.
“A trauma-informed therapist would have helped me process what I went through and aided my dad’s understanding of my behavior and how to properly support me.”Zoë Jones-Walton
Former Foster Youth
“A place where they can ask for help for their addiction without judgment increased awareness and opportunities to resources currently available, and peer support to support them in their journey.”Tiffany Csonka
“With support and knowledge, I was able to help my adult son obtain services and take measures that prevented my now 7-year-old grandson from going into the Child Welfare System.”Wendi Turner
- Family Voices on Mental Health Supports, by Family Voices United, published 2019.
- In Loving Arms: The Protective Role of Grandparents and Other Relatives in Raising Children Exposed to Trauma The 2017 State of Grandfamilies in America Annual Report, by Generations United, published 2017.
- Improving Youth Engagement and Access to Mental Health Services, by the National Youth and Alumni Policy Council, published 2013.
“Growing up, I knew my mom had some challenges. I firmly believe mental health services would have helped my mom and helped me figure out how to support her.”
Former Foster Youth