Trends in characteristics of children served by the children's mental health initiative: 1994-2007

Christine Walrath, Lucas Godoy Garraza, Robert Stephens, Melissa Azur, Richard Miech, Philip Leaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data from 14 years of the national evaluation of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program were used to understand the trends of the emotional and behavioral problems and demographic characteristics of children entering services. The data for this study were derived from information collected at intake into service in 90 sites who received their initial federal funding between 1993 and 2004. The findings from this study suggest children entering services later in a site's funding cycle had lower levels of behavioral problems and children served in sites funded later in the 14 year period had higher levels of behavioral problems. Females have consistently entered services with more severe problems and children referred from non-mental health sources, younger children, and those from non-white racial/ethnic backgrounds have entered system of care services with less severe problems. The policy and programming implications, as well as implications for local system of care program development and implementation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-373
Number of pages13
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • CMHI
  • Children's mental health
  • Serious emotional disturbance
  • Service trajectories
  • Systems of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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