Partnering with the mental health system is a key part of achieving positive outcomes in child welfare. Because of their expertise and desire to help children and families heal and thrive, those working in the mental health system are natural partners for child welfare professionals.
But even in natural partnerships, things aren't always easy. Child welfare professionals sometimes find it difficult to obtain appropriate, evidence-based services for clients. Poor communication and lack of clarity about each other's roles, mandates, and procedures can trip up even the most sincere attempts to work together.
Yet despite the occasional frustrations, these barriers can be overcome. As the recently released final report from the Governor's Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use indicates, in the future our two systems will almost certainly be working together more, not less.
This issue of Practice Notes demonstrates that to some extent this future is already here. Through Project Broadcast and many other efforts, child welfare and mental health agencies are discovering new ways to collaborate, making them stronger, more efficient, and more successful.
We hope this issue of Practice Notes will provide you with inspiration and ideas to make your partnerships with mental health deeper and more fruitful for the kids and families you both serve.
Contents of this Issue