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Improving Quality of Care for the Most Vulnerable Children, Youth, and Families: Finding Consensus

Vulnerable families and communities are often the most in need of multiple services and community supports to address their behavioral health needs. These needs are often exacerbated by larger social conditions such as poverty, racism, violence, and untreated trauma. Currently, children of color are overrepresented in the child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice systems. Such disproportionality further complicates the health disparities of this vulnerable population as the service delivery systems struggle to provide appropriate services. The solution lies in an integrated response because no one child- or family-serving system has the resources to address person-specific issues and the larger social conditions that affect them.

From June 2003 to March 2004, CWLA and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation convened a series of three summits. This is the first of two monographs to be released to support a consensus agenda for systems-culture change. It addresses what we know and what we are learning to improve the quality of care for our most vulnerable children, youth and families.

The second monograph will outline a detailed plan for systems-culture change across these systems and identify the steps to implement this approach. It is scheduled for Fall 2005 publication


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