How Long Away? Out-of-Home Services for Youth
A young person with emotional or behavioral problems sometimes needs to be treated outside of the home. But for how long? And where? How many young people receive these services?
According to SAMHSA’s National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), combined data from 2002 to 2006 indicate that an estimated 2.6 percent of youth age 12 to 17 (about 657,000 people) reported receiving out-of-home services for emotional or behavioral problems in the past 12 months.
Out-of-Home Services for Emotional or Behavioral Problems among Youths Aged 12 To 17: 2002 to 2006 is the title of this short report.
A recent report from SAMHSA examines how long youth participated in out-of-home services -- for behavior or emotional problems not caused by alcohol or drugs.
The report includes responses from youth who experienced three types of out-of-home services -- inpatient, residential, or therapeutic foster care. Descriptions of each follow.
- Residential treatment center. Provides facility-based care 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, for children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance, and offers mental health services in a controlled environment.
- Foster care or therapeutic foster care. Matches a trained foster family with a young person with serious emotional or behavioral needs who cannot be cared for in his or her home. TFC families are closely supervised and supported.
- Inpatient care. Admits youth to a community or psychiatric hospital.
Of the youth who reported receiving any out-of-home mental health services, 74.6 percent received services in a hospital, 36.8 percent received services in an residential treatment center, and 23.3 percent received services in a foster or therapeutic foster care home.
Respondents could report receiving services in multiple settings.
Of the 2.6 percent of youth age 12 to 17 who received out-of-home services in the past year, about half reported staying only for 1 or 2 nights. Overall, 33.3 percent of them stayed for only 1 night, and another 16.5 percent stayed for 2 nights.
The number of nights spent in out-of-home settings in the past year varied by setting.
For example, 48.1 percent of youth age 12 to 17 who reported receiving hospital care stayed for only 1 night compared with 40.4 percent of those who reported staying in a foster or therapeutic foster care home and 36.2 percent of those who reported staying in an residential treatment center.
To read the entire report, visit SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies Web site at http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k8/youthServices/youthServices.pdf.