Resources to Support Youth Mental Health

It is essential that the child welfare system pay attention to the mental health needs of children and youth in foster care. The way we discuss mental health must be on par with how we discuss physical health. But mental health support can mean different things to different people, and the lens with which we view mental health services must include a consideration of the culture, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and disability of the recipient to ensure services are effective.

Below are resources highlighting an array of strategies that child welfare professionals can use to holistically support the mental health needs of children and youth while they are in foster care. This includes information on traditional therapeutic services for children and youth, alternative support services, and the positive outcomes associated with each. Resources also highlight strategies for supporting caregivers and how a stable, nurturing placement can have a positive impact on children and youth’s resilience and long-term well-being.

Examples of Best Practices

Child welfare professionals have the opportunity to match children and youth with appropriate mental health services or supports that fit their unique needs. View these resources for examples of programs that lift up hope, self-worth, and belonging and help children and youth navigate life’s challenges while in foster care.