Information Sharing Between The Child Welfare And Behavioral Health Systems: Perspectives From Four Stakeholder Groups.
Hwang, Sophia H. J. Mollen, Cynthia J. Kellom, Katherine S. Dougherty, Susan L. Noonan, Kathleen G.
Published: September-October 2017
Social Work in Mental Health
Vol. 15, No. 5 , p. 500-523
Taylor and Francis Group
530 Walnut Street Suite 850
Philadelphia, PA 19106
This qualitative study articulates the challenges, best practices, and facilitators to information sharing when addressing the behavioral health needs of children in out-of-home care. 13 interviews and nine focus groups were conducted to illuminate the perspectives of foster parents, mental health clinicians, provider agency social workers, and city-employed child welfare professionals. In total, 65 individuals participated in this qualitative study and data were analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach. Results indicate that challenges and best practices in cross-system information sharing articulated across the four stakeholder groups are attributed to variation in information accessibility, clarity in roles and protocols, ability in obtaining signatures for consent/release forms, and attitudinal differences towards collaboration. Implications to improve policy and practice are discussed. (Author abstract)
foster children; mental health services; child welfare services; interagency collaboration; service integration; needs assessment