Mental health need and service use among Latino children of immigrants in the child welfare system
Dettlaff, Alan J.
Cardoso, Jodi B.
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Despite the rapid growth of the Latino population in the child welfare system and the high rate of mental health need among children involved with this system, little is known about the mental health needs or use of mental health services among Latino children of immigrants involved with this system. Further, little is known about how the need for mental health services or use of those services differs from children of U.S.-born Latinos. This study analyzes data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW) to identify the need for mental health services, mental health service use, and unmet mental health needs among Latino children of immigrants involved in the child welfare system, and compares those factors to those of children in U.S.-born Latino families. Findings indicate that significant differences are present, both in the need for mental health services and the use of those services. Awareness of these differences is necessary to effectively respond to the unique needs and experiences of Latino immigrant children and families who come to the attention of the child welfare system.