The following issues are highlighted in this project: what forms of ambulatory mental health care do children and young people receive in child welfare institutions, how does it take place, and what are the characteristics of the help provided? What is the institutional staff's experience with, and perception of, the help given to children and young people? Is the help perceived as useful and sufficient? How are the challenges in this field described, and the collaboration with mental health care?
The project is based on qualitative interviews with managers and health officers in 18 child welfare institutions across the country, and with regional health officers in the Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufetat). A document study is also carried out which gives a picture of ambulatory mental health care, as it appears "on paper" - in policy making and in audit/inspection.
In the project, we found that over half of the child welfare institutions received ambulatory mental health care occasionally, and that the extent and forms of ambulatory services they had received varied greatly between the institutions. Many had good experiences with ambulatory services, and a desire for increased access to ambulatory mental health care.
The report gives examples of different types of ambulatory teams, perceived availability, flexibility and usefulness, and challenges that child welfare services experience in relation to providing mental health care. The report also shows that municipal services are used to a small extent, and that there is a great deal of agreement that it would be useful to have more cooperation between the institution and the municipal services.
The project's review of policy documents and supervision indicates a great awareness of the challenges associated with mental health in children in childcare, but little concretisation of a strategy to achieve the goal of more ambulatory mental health care.