Alliance Position Statement on Evidence-Based Behavioral Health Interventions in Residential Settings

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities believes that all children thrive best in the love and nurturance of their families. Systems that serve children in families must be grounded in the principles and values of home‐ and community‐based, family‐centered systems of supports and engagement that assist families to ensure that their children grow up in nurturing, safe environments.

When some children and families enter systems designed to respond to a child protective court order due to substantiated abuse or neglect, the systems need to provide the experience of safety and permanency that are inherent in a child’s sense of well-being and, have to be each child’s lived experience every day they are in the systems’ care. All of this should be done so as to exit the child from the system to the best possible permanency outcome, preferably with their families when that is in their best interest.

When a child who enters the system experiences emotional and behavioral challenges that are assessed to best be addressed through a more encompassing intervention, their treatment arc may require receiving effective interventions in a residential setting that utilizes evidence-based, research-informed practices based on a comprehensive assessment of the child’s needs and strengths.

The Alliance believes in full parity between primary care and behavioral health and that necessary interventions in a residential setting should not be considered placements and counted as such. Rather, just like inpatient hospitalization for children in the out-of-home care system who have a primary health diagnosis requiring hospitalization, their family placement should not disrupt because they need a behavioral health intervention.

Read the Alliance's full position statement.

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