We studied 9,220 children referred to a comprehensive mental health crisis stabilization program to examine the impact of caregiver capacity on crisis worker decisions to refer children for intensive community-based treatment as opposed to inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. Due to the different role of caregivers in the child welfare system, analyses were stratified by state custody status. Among both groups, there was a significant inverse association between child mental health need and referral to intensive community-based treatment. For children not in state custody with low mental health need, there was no difference in the likelihood of referral to intensive community-based treatment across levels of caregiver capacity. However, for children not in state custody with medium and high mental health needs, those whose caregivers were deficient or severely deficient were significantly more likely to be referred for intensive community-based treatment than were those who had capable caregivers. Multivariate analyses demonstrated similar results after controlling for potential confounding variables and confirmed that caregiver capacity contributes significantly to the logistic model's classification accuracy. Results suggest further investigation of the impact of caregiver capacity on mental health crisis worker referral decisions is needed.
- Caregiver capacity
- Child mental health
- Crisis stabilization
- Intensive community-based treatment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies