Assessing Service Needs For Foster Children Automatically Enrolled Into Behavioral Health Services At Time Of Removal
AuthorEdwinson, Roxanne Michelle
Committee ChairPerfect, Michelle
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe present study had an overarching objective of seeking information to better understand the service needs of children entering foster care who are universally enrolled into behavioral health services at the time of their home removal. The first specific aim was to examine how various case attributes (i.e., aspects of a child’s background, personal and familial characteristics, and CPS involvement) related to behavioral health needs at entry, represented by global functioning ratings and service intensity scores. A second specific aim was to explore the existence of natural groupings of foster youth to examine if meaningful groupings occur in relation to demographic and risk and factors. Finally, this study sought to evaluate service needs of subgroups of foster children who are typically under-referred for services. Data were collected from records of 327 school-age youth who were automatically enrolled into treatment from one community-based outpatient behavioral health provider at the time of home removal. The results of this study showed that the average school-age child entering foster care is performing in the at-risk range of global functioning (mean CGAS score of 69.23) and requires at least short-term behavioral health intervention services and/or recovery monitoring (mean CASII Composite Score of 13.1). With respect to severity of impaired functioning, the results indicated that racial background, medical history, speech problems, school grade level (e.g., <1 year, K-3,...9-12), psychological stability, and reasons for removal significantly contributed to scores of global functioning. With regard to the intensity of service needs, the findings suggested gender, historical involvement with child welfare services, foster placement, simultaneous removal of all children, history of sexualized behaviors, and global functioning predicted level of care composite scores. Subgroups of foster youth that are typically under-referred and/or under-utilize services (i.e., preschool age children, children who did not experience physical or sexual abuse, and ethnic minorities) generally did not differ in terms of functionality or service intensity ratings from their counterpart groups; the only exception being that Caucasian/Non-Hispanic youth demonstrated lower average ratings on global functioning than children who identify with other racial backgrounds. The data showed inadequate fit for examining latent classes among youth entering foster care.
Degree ProgramGraduate College