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Mental Health Referral and Services for Maltreated Children and Child Protection Evaluations of Children With Special Needs: A National Survey of Hospital- and Community-Based Medically Oriented Teams

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 34 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2010 Pages: 593-601
Louise A. Montoya; Angelo P. Giardino; John M. Leventhal
Date Published
August 2010
9 pages
This survey measured the self-perceived capability of medically oriented child maltreatment teams in the United States in providing mental health services and referrals, as well as evaluating children with special health care needs (CSHCN).
The survey found that medically oriented child maltreatment teams generally perceived that they were capable of arranging for mental health services for the children they served, and most felt capable of serving CSHCN; however, significantly more mental health service providers are required for children and families who communicate in languages other than English. Of the types of teams represented in the survey - hospital-based teams (HBTs) and community-based teams (CBTs) - CBTs were significantly more likely to offer mental health treatment. When mental health services were needed in another language, only 50.7 percent of respondents indicated that services were available in Spanish, 29.3 percent could find services in sign language, and only 20.3 percent expected to find services for patients who communicated in other languages. Of all children evaluated, 31.2 percent had special health care needs. The findings indicate that medically oriented child maltreatment teams should recruit and train bilingual professionals, ensure that children or family members who are deaf receive professional services in sign language, and ensure that training relates to the needs of CSHCN. The questionnaire, which was mailed in 1999, contained 12 items related to services for CSHCN, 28 items on financial issues previously reported, and 5 items related to mental health. Responses were received from 320 of 472 organizations mailed the questionnaire (67.8 percent response rate). A total of 153 respondents had at least 1 physician or nurse practitioner as members; 91 were HBTs, and 62 were CBTs. 3 tables and 27 references