Behavioral health is often used to refer to a broad spectrum of services from prevention to aftercare that address the emotional, psychological, developmental, physical, and social well-being of children and families. This term is often used interchangeably with mental health and substance abuse or alcohol and other drugs. This term is used more often in the managed care arena.
The Behavioral Health Division was created in 2001 to provide national leadership in the advancement of policy, programs, and practices that address behavioral health issues in families known to the child welfare system.
In a recent membership survey, CWLA members cited the behavioral health needs of children and their families as the primary challenge confronting agencies today. As a result, the division was created to assist CWLA members with addressing the intensity and severity of these problems and is composed of an Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) unit and a Mental Health unit. In addition, the division spearheads CWLA's efforts around Community Building and Family Involvement.
Why Behavioral Health?
Behavioral health refers to a broad spectrum of services from prevention to aftercare that address the emotional, psychological, developmental, physical, and social well-being of children and families.
To advance child welfare policies, programs and practices that integrates AOD and mental health services and supports. We envision a future in which families, neighborhoods, and communities partner with professionals to create effective community-based programs and practices that enhance and increase the well-being of children and families known to the child welfare system.
The division serves the overall mission of CWLA through the following activities:
Provide national leadership to improve behavioral health system collaboration, coordination and integration across all relevant child and family-serving systems. These efforts include outreach to engage both public and private sectors and by establishing partnerships with non-traditional and informal systems.
Identify, document, and disseminate information on effective and promising behavioral health programs and practices to inform practice and enhance research capacity at national, state, and local levels.
Develop hands-on resources and tools to increase staff efficacy, skills, and performance at the front line, program, and administrative agency levels through publications, conferences, workshops, training, and the division web site.
Provide consultation and technical assistance to support the implementation of policies, programs, and practices that increase and enhance the well-being of children, youth, and their families.
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