Leadership Symposium Early Bird Deadline Approaching | Join K-12 leaders nationwide for three days of empowering strategies, networking, and inspiration! Discounted pricing ends March 1. Register today.
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


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

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 Parents Worried About Their Kids' Mental Health See the Fix in New Schooling Options
Parents who say they are considering a change to their children's education identify mental health as a driving factor, a new report shows.
5 min read
Student walking down the stairs at her school.
iStock / Getty Images Plus
Student Well-Being Explainer More Students Are Getting Diabetes. Here's What That Means for the Classroom
More than a half million people under 20 could have the chronic health disorder by 2060, and they'll need support from schools.
8 min read
Conceptual image in blues: female student with diabetes wears glucose monitoring patch
Student Well-Being Opinion One Thing Teachers Can Do to Signal High Expectations
There are constructive ways for teachers to communicate they believe in a student, a research scientist weighs in.
Camilla Mutoni Griffiths
1 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Student Well-Being Students With Health Conditions Protected Under Federal Law, Education Department Stresses
Asthma, diabetes, allergies, and gastroesophageal reflux disease may trigger student protections under civil rights law.
4 min read
Close up of a medical chart in an unrecognizable female doctor's hands as she listens to an unrecognizable young adult woman sitting on nurse's table.