Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Behavioral Health Diagnoses and Treatment Services for Children Involved with the Child Welfare System

Publication Date
Laura Radel, Sarah Lieff, Chandra Couzens, Mir M. Ali, and Kristina West

This research brief uses claims data from the Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs to examine the behavioral health diagnoses and treatment services received by children and youth involved with the child welfare system in 2019. Nationally, more than 40 percent of children involved with the child welfare system -- including children and youth in foster care as well as those who had exited foster care to homes of adoptive parents or guardians -- had been diagnosed with behavioral health conditions and these children used substantially more behavioral health services than other children and youth on Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program. Those with behavioral health diagnoses usually received some behavioral health treatment; outpatient mental health services and psychotropic medications were especially common. However, use of psychotropic medications varied widely by state.

Related Products:

Product Type
Research Brief
Children | Youth
Location- & Geography-Based Data
National Data | State Data
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) | Medicaid