Many of the youths living in vulnerable environments in child welfare settings are in need of psychiatric treatment as well as child protection services. There is an urgent demand for closer collaboration between these two sectors in order to ensure more effective work in child welfare regarding to mental health care interventions is provided.
The aim of this integrative review was to describe the evidence-based literature related to mental health care interventions provided in child welfare. Seven databases (PubMed, EBSCOhost, Ovid MEDLINE, Eric, CINAHL, Elsevier Science Direct, Cochrane database) were searched, while search parameters included English-only manuscripts published prior to 20 May 2016.
Out of 152 records, only eight studies met the inclusion criteria. Mental health care interventions described varied and were listed as follows: crisis assessment, respite child care, counselling, therapeutic interviews, cognitive and educational screening, different therapies, psychoeducational support, psychological testing, behavioural assessment, individual work and brief interval care.
Despite using comprehensive searches in seven databases, we found only eight studies related to acute psychiatric services targeted at child welfare. There is not enough evidence to arrive at a definite conclusion on the effects of mental health care interventions in child welfare.
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