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Journal article

Prevalence of mental health problems among children placed in out-of-home care in Denmark

Authors:
EGELUND Tine, LAUSTEN Mette
Journal article citation:
Child and Family Social Work, 14(2), May 2009, pp.156-165.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This paper concerns the prevalence of mental health problems among children in family foster and residential care within a Danish context. All children, born in Denmark in 1995, who are or formerly have been placed in out-of-home care (n= 1072), are compared with a group of vulnerable children of the same age, subjected to child protection interventions but living at home (n= 1457, referred to as the 'in home care children'), and to all contemporaries who are not child protection clients (n= 71 321, referred to as the 'non-welfare children'). Prevalence data are established on the basis of national administrative register data, including data on psychiatric diagnoses of the children, and on survey data scoring children in out-of-home care, in home care children, and non-welfare children by means of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Results show that 20% of children in out-of-home care have at least one psychiatric diagnosis compared to 3% of the non-welfare children. Almost half of the children in care (48%) are, furthermore, scored within the abnormal range of SDQ, compared to 5% of the non-welfare children.

Journal article

Evaluation of a pilot project for mental health screening for children looked after in an inner London borough

Authors:
NEWLOVE-DELGADO Tamsin, MURPHY Elizabeth, FORD Tamsin
Journal article citation:
Journal of Children's Services, 7(3), 2012, pp.213-225.
Publisher:
Emerald

This study evaluated the feasibility of a screening test for looked after children in order to identify undetected psychiatric disorders. Children aged 4 to 16 in care in the London Borough of Southwark for four consecutive months were eligible for screening. Where the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire suggested that a psychiatric disorder was possible, participants were then invited to complete the Developmental and Well-Being Assessment, which was rated by a senior psychiatrist to generate diagnoses if appropriate. Findings revealed that that over one year, 23 children were eligible for screening, a total of 18 underwent the initial stage of screening, and 7 were subsequently diagnosed with a formal psychiatric disorder. The authors concluded that the study highlighted the unmet need for mental health interventions among children looked after by the local authority, and confirmed the feasibility of a simple screening protocol.

Journal article

Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores and mental health in looked after children

Authors:
GOODMAN Anna, GOODMAN Robert
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 200(5), May 2012, pp.426-427.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

British local authorities are required to monitor the mental health of looked after children using mean Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) scores from parents or carers. This short report used a nationally representative sample (n = 1391, age 5–16) to examine whether differences in mean SDQ scores reflect real differences in child mental health in this group. The SDQ was found to be a genuinely dimensional measure of mental health in these children and provided accurate estimates of disorder prevalence.

Journal article

How Baby Peter has changed everything

Author:
GILLEN Sally
Journal article citation:
Young Minds Magazine, 102, October 2009, pp.28-29.
Publisher:
YoungMinds

There has been an rise in the number of care proceedings since the Baby Peter case, which has resulted in an increased workload for social workers. As children in public care often have greater contact with a child mental health team, this article examines the possible impact on child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) teams. A short case study of the Newham Child and Family Consultation service is included.

Journal article

Emotional well-being and mental health of looked after children in England

Authors:
MCAULEY Colette, DAVIS Teresa
Journal article citation:
Child and Family Social Work, 14(2), May 2009, pp.147-155.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This article examines the evidence on prevalence of mental health problems amongst looked after children in England. In previous national prevalence studies forty-five per cent of looked after children in England were found to have a diagnosable mental health disorder. In contrast, this is to one in 10 in the general population. Carers estimated that mental health problems were even more widespread. Children with mental health disorders were also more likely to have education, health and social issues. This paper discusses the findings and argues for early intervention along with inter-departmental and interdisciplinary approaches. The recent Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Review clearly indicates that issues of access to appropriate and timely Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services remain. However, the introduction of evidence-based approaches is encouraging. Young people's views on the services they want and on what is important for emotional well-being and mental health are important considerations.

Journal article

“Care just changes your life”: factors impacting upon the mental health of children and young people with experiences of care in Northern Ireland

Authors:
MULLAN Christine, et al
Journal article citation:
Child Care in Practice, 13(4), October 2007, pp.417-434.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

This paper represents one element of a research project carried out into the mental health needs of children and young people with experiences of care in Northern Ireland. Focusing exclusively on qualitative data collected from 51 young people in care and aftercare, it discusses in the first instance how the challenges and difficulties faced by young people can manifest themselves in feelings and behaviours that may exemplify poor mental well-being. In doing so it provides an understanding of mental health in the context of these young people's lives. Through offering a more detailed account of some of the specific issues that put these young people at increased risk, it highlights areas for further work and consideration as a means of protecting them against these risks. These include: dealing with experiences prior to care; easing and “normalising” the experience of living in care; and enhancing “safety nets” after care. A key objective of the research is to inform policy and practice through the accounts of children and young people. It is argued that more work needs to be done to find creative ways of enhancing the day-to-day experiences of young people while in care and when leaving care.

Book

Edinburgh Connect evaluation: final report

Authors:
McCOLLAM Allyson, WOODHOUSE Amy
Publisher:
Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health
Publication year:
2006
Pagination:
64p.
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

Edinburgh Connect is a mental health service for looked after and accommodated children which aims to promote and enhance the mental health of this group. In mid 2003, the Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health (SDC) was commissioned through the Changing Children’s Services Fund to undertake the evaluation of Edinburgh Connect (EC). The evaluation had four key aims: to track progress in relation to the identified strategic and operational objectives, to inform the continuing development of the Edinburgh Connect service , to examine, from the perspectives of a range of stakeholders, the factors that facilitated and inhibited the effectiveness of the team, and to identify key learning points and recommendations for the longer term development of local service responses to meet the mental health needs of looked after and accommodated children and young people.

Book

The mental health needs of looked after children in the South Humber region

Authors:
STANLEY Nicky, ALASZEWSKI Helen, RIORDAN Denise
Publisher:
University of Hull. Department of Social Work and Community Health
Publication year:
2002
Pagination:
29p.
Place of publication:
Hull

The study described in this paper aimed to explore the mental health problems of looked after children and to examine the service response to those needs in Hull. High levels of mental health need in the study group were associated with placement disruption. Educational difficulties were also apparent in the group with the highest levels of mental health need. Longer-term input from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) professionals did not appear to be targeted on the group with the highest level of mental health needs.

Book

The mental health needs of looked after children in the South Humber region: summary report

Authors:
STANLEY Nicky, ALASZEWSKI Helen, RIORDAN Denise
Publisher:
University of Hull. Department of Social Work and Community Health
Publication year:
2002
Pagination:
6p.
Place of publication:
Hull

The study described in this paper aimed to explore the mental health problems of looked after children and to examine the service response to those needs in Hull. High levels of mental health need in the study group were associated with placement disruption. Educational difficulties were also apparent in the group with the highest levels of mental health need. Longer-term input from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) professionals did not appear to be targeted on the group with the highest level of mental health needs.

Journal article

Children in care: the association with mental disorder in patients

Authors:
ISAAC B.C., MINTY E.B., MORRISON R.M.
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Social Work, 16(3), June 1986, pp.325-339.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Report of a study of 31 families of children who had stayed in care for at least 12 months, and of 26 families with children who had been in care for up to 3 months. Information about the parents' mental health was obtained from social work records, psychiatric records and interviews with the parents. The parents of children in care for the longer period were more likely to have received psychiatric treatment and appeared to suffer from more severe or longstanding disorders, as evidenced by admissions into psychiatric hospital and type of psychiatric diagnosis. However, the most striking finding was the high rate of past and current psychiatric disorder in the total sample of parents; this appeared to be an important factor influencing children's admissions into, and discharge from, care.

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