Student Well-Being

‘Systems of Care’ Found to Benefit Troubled Youths

By Christina A. Samuels — June 03, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Teenagers involved in “systems of care”—coordinated networks of providers and schools that work to get services to adolescents with mental-health issues—have fewer disciplinary problems, and attend school more regularly within a year and a half of getting services, a government report says.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, oversees a federal grant program to expand the “systems of care” service-delivery model nationwide.

As part of an effort last month to promote awareness of children’s mental-health problems, the agency examined the outcomes of youths ages 14 to 18 involved in such programs.

Schools tend to be the most common avenue used to refer teenagers to mental-health services. Within 18 months of students’ involvement in a systems-of-care model, suspension and expulsion rates dropped from about 52 percent to 29 percent, the study found.

Overall, 74 percent of youths who entered systems-of care-services attended school regularly. Six months after receiving care, the percentage attending regularly rose to 81 percent, the report says.

Schools are a critical element of a systems-of-care service model, said Gary M. Blau, the chief of the child, adolescent, and family services branch of SAMHSA. But the goal of such programs is not to place extra work on school personnel, he said, but to let them know where they can turn if they have a student with severe behavioral problems.

“We try to demonstrate that what matters to the school also matters to us,” Mr. Blau said.

Several school districts have applied for grants to offer the program to youths in their communities because the districts see the importance of such work, he said.

The Bush administration is recommending an increase of almost 12 percent in grant money to fund systems-of-care programs in the president’s fiscal 2009 budget, from $102 million to $114 million.

“Educators are really looking to coordinate with their community providers,” Mr. Blau said.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 04, 2008 edition of Education Week


Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
The School to Workforce Gap: How Are Schools Setting Students Up For Life & Lifestyle Success?
Hear from education and business leaders on how schools are preparing students for their leap into the workforce.
Content provided by Find Your Grind
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
The Key to Better Learning: Indoor Air Quality
Learn about the importance of improved indoor air quality in schools, and how to pick the right solutions for educators, students, and staff.
Content provided by Delos

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being After a Rash of Student Suicides, This School District Stepped Up
Hopeless at first over a student mental health crisis, Colorado's Cherry Creek school leaders decided to build a day-treatment program.
13 min read
Image of a bridge made of puzzle pieces with the middle piece moving to connect the two sides.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being What Schools Can Do to Ease Students' Anxiety
Educators and researchers offer three tips on how schools can ease anxiety and mental health burdens for their students.
4 min read
Black students using laptop in the lab with white female teacher- including a female student with special needs.
Student Well-Being Does SEL Make Students Ready for Work? We Asked Educators
Most educators say SEL has a positive impact on students, but teacher buy-in is still needed.
2 min read
A diverse group of students wearing book bags and climbing ladders and books to assemble a large puzzle
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Student Well-Being Briefly Stated 6 Rules for Engaging Students With Intellectual Disabilities in Sports
Here's how to get started with unified sports, where students with and without intellectual disabilities can play together.
3 min read
Giovannie Tanella, third from left, and Averill Zimmer, share a moment during a Unified Physical Education class at Saratoga Springs High School in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022.
Giovannie Tanella, third from left, and Averill Zimmer, share a moment during a unified physical education class at Saratoga Springs High School in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Heather Ainsworth for Education Week