Issue 1: The System Fragmentation and Gaps

Goal: Create an integrative, collaborative system of care for children and youth with mental and emotional disorders.


As the Children and Youth Action Team met to determine the needs and outcomes of mental health service provision for children and youth and their families, one theme recurred. To effectively work with a child or youth and that individual's family, systems must commit to the elimination of all barriers and boundaries. Access should be obtained without delay and appropriate services should be made available immediately. Respite for families and parents should be regularly scheduled to proactively maintain placements. Children and youth with conduct disorders should be included in regular classrooms by teaching classroom and special education teachers how to use state-of-the-art behavioral techniques to control disruptive and aggressive student behavior. Parents must become partners in the purest sense of determining appropriate services based on their family's strengths. A child's well being and health will only thrive with the systems working together. This holistic approach will positively affect not only the children and youth and families being served but also the communities in which they live.