Caring for Children in Child Welfare (CCCW)

Principal Investigator


  • NIMH
    • 06/01/1999 - 05/31/2004

Project Description


Children served in the child welfare system (CWS) are at greater risk of having psychological, social and developmental problems than children in the general population. However, little is known about which types of children in the CWS receive services and how services are delivered. This study will examine the mental health services received by children in the CWS, and the impact of placement types and changes over time within the context of state and regional policies regarding the use, organization and financing of mental health services.


In May 1999, the Child & Adolescent Services Research Center, in collaboration with Duke University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Research Triangle Institute, received a five-year grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to examine the impact of placement types and changes in the CWS on provision of mental health services to children, within the context of state and regional variation in mental health care policies, structure and fiscal support. The study collected systems level data through the use of key informant interviews with county personnel from approximately 94 identified counties in 40 states to describe the organization of mental health services for children in the CWS and the funding mechanisms for various youth by placement type. The data has been linked to data being collected simultaneously through the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW), a longitudinal study of 6,700 youth in the CWS.


A second wave of data collection, entitled Caring for Children in Child Welfare II (CCCW II) began in 2010 through pilot funding from the Implementation Methods Research Group (IMRG). The focus of CCCW II is an examination of how evidence-based parent training practices are being adopted in child welfare systems.


Selected CCCW Publications

  • Barbara J. Burns, Susan D. Phillips, H. Ryan Wagner, Richard P. Barth, David J. Kolko, Yvonne Campbell, John Landsverk. (2004) Mental Health Need and Access to Mental Health Services by Youth Involved With Child Welfare: A National Survey. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43(8), 960-970.
  • Elizabeth M.Z. Farmer, Barbara J. Burns, Mimi Chapman, Susan D. Phillips, Adrian Angold & E. Jane Costello. (2001). Use of mental health services by youth in contact with social services. Social Service Review, 75(4), 605-624.
  • Jeffrey S. Harman, George E. Childs, & Kelly J. Kelleher (2000). Mental health care utilization and expenditures by children in foster care. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 154: 1114-1117.
  • Andrea Hazen, Cynthia Connelly, Kelly Kelleher. (2004). Intimate Partner Violence Among Female Caregivers of Children Reported for Child Maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect 28(3), 301-319.
  • Michael S. Hurlburt, Laurel K. Leslie, John Landsverk, Richard P. Barth, Barbara J. Burns, Robert D. Gibbons, Donald J. Slymen, Jinjin Zhang. (2004). Contextual Predictors of Mental Health Service Use Among a Cohort of Children Open to Child Welfare. Archives of General Psychiatry; 61: 1217-1224.
  • Sigrid James. (2004). Why Do Foster Care Placements Disrupt? An Investigation of Reasons for Placement Change in Foster Care. Social Service Review, 78 (4), 601-627.
  • Sigrid James, John Landsverk, and Don Slymen. (2004). Placement Movement in Out-Of-Home Care: Patterns and Predictors. Children and Youth Services Review, 26(2), 185-206.
  • Sigrid James, John Landsverk, Don J. Slymen, Laurel K. Leslie. (2004). Predictors of Outpatient Mental Health Service Use—The Role of Foster Care Placement Change. Mental Health Services Research, 6(3), 127-141.
  • John Landsverk, Ann F. Garland, & Laurel K. Leslie. (2002). Mental health services for children reported to child protective services. In John E. B. Myers, & John Briere (Eds.). The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment, 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage.
  • Laurel K. Leslie, Michael Hurlburt, John Landsverk, Jennifer Rolls, Patsy Wood, Kelly Kelleher. (2003). Comprehensive Assessments for Children Entering Foster Care: A National Perspective. Pediatrics, 112(1), 134-142.
  • Laurel K. Leslie; Michael S. Hurlburt, John Landsverk, Richard Barth, Donald J. Slymen.(2004) Outpatient Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care: A National Sample. Child Abuse & Neglect, 28(6), 699-714.
  • Laurel K. Leslie, Kelly Kelleher, Barbara J. Burns, John Landsverk, & Jennifer A. Rolls. (2003). Foster Care and Medicaid Managed Care. Child Welfare, 82(3), 367-392.
  • Anne Libby, Heather Orton, Richard P. Barth, Mary B. Webb, Barbara Burns, Paul Spicer, Patsy Wood. (2006). Alcohol, drug, and mental health specialty treatment services and race/ethnicity: a national study of children and families involved with child welfare. Am J Public Health, 96(4):628-31.
  • Susan Phillips, Ryan Wagner, and Barbara J. Burns. (2004). Parental Arrest and Children Involved with Child Welfare Services Agencies. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry,74(2), 174-186.
  • Ramesh Raghavan, Bonnie T. Zima, Ronald M. Anderson, Arleen A. Leibowitz, Mark A. Schuster, John Landsverk. (2005). Psychotropic Medication Use in a National Probability Sample of Children in the Child Welfare System. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 15(1), 97-106.
  • Ramesh Raghavan, Arleen A. Leibowitz, Ronald M. Andersen, Bonnie T. Zima, Mark A. Schuster and John Landsverk (2006). Effects of Medicaid managed care policies on mental health service use among a national probability sample of children in the child welfare system. Children and Youth Services Review, 28(12), 1482-1496.
  • Aubyn C. Stahmer, Laurel K. Leslie, Michael Hurlburt, Richard P. Barth, Mary Bruce Webb, John Landsverk, Jinjin Zhang. (2005). Developmental and Behavioral Needs as Predictors of Service Use for Young Children in Child Welfare. Pediatrics, 116(4): 891–900.