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An investigation of the mental health needs of children looked after by craigavon and banbridge health and social services trust

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Rates of mental health difficulties were investigated among children in substitute care across five childcare teams in Craigavon and Banbridge H+SS Trust. A total of 64 children were assessed using a behavioural screening instrument. Results indicate that more than 60% of 4-10 year olds assessed may have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. The presence of such a disorder is probable in almost 50%. Among the 11-16 year olds assessed, the proportion likely to have a diagnosable disorder is slightly higher at almost two-thirds of the sample group. A significant number of children appeared in more than one diagnostic category, indicating the complexity of their presentation and probable co-morbid diagnoses. The implications of these results for further research and for the provision of mental health services to young people in substitute care are discussed.

Keywords: Assessment of Need; Looked After Children; Mental Health Difficulties

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1357527042000332781

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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