Mental Health Project
Young people in foster care have often experienced years of neglect and abuse, exposure to a host of environmental stressors and risk factors, the traumatic experience of entering foster care, and the continuing trauma of changing foster care placements. All of these factors and many more contribute to a higher rate of mental health diagnoses among youth in foster care than among their counterparts who are not in care.
It is estimated that 60% of children in foster care in New York City suffer from mental health issues. Left unaddressed, our clients’ mental health challenges and those of their families can result in their extended involvement in the child welfare system and dramatically increase their chances of continued mental health struggles after leaving care.
The goal of the Mental Health Advocacy Project, founded in 2007, is to ensure that our clients who have mental health challenges receive timely and comprehensive evaluations by trained professionals; high-quality, individualized services in the least restrictive placements possible; appropriate school-based services; and appropriately prescribed and monitored psychotropic medication when necessary. The project is staffed by an attorney with expertise in mental health advocacy who works closely with LFC social workers, to ensure the best outcomes for every child and young adult we serve.