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Episode 104 - Dr. Rachel Fusco: Developmental and Mental Health Screening in Child Welfare: Implications for Young Children in Rural Settings

Monday, October 01, 2012, 9:12:04 AM

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In this episode, Dr. Rachel Fusco describes her work with Universal Screening that involves an examination of the developmental and mental health needs of young children involved in the child welfare system. After sharing what she is learning from this research, she discusses the implications for child welfare-involved children and families in rural communities.

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Average Rating: 4.7 stars (3 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 5stars  interventions ii podcast assignment, Monday, February 08, 2021

By Kameron Decker :

Dr. Fusco discussed the importance of increasing screenings to detect socioemotional and developmental concerns early on to foster children’s successes. Federal acts have enforced child protective service (CPS) agencies to screen children of substantiated maltreatment under the age of 3. Although some agencies expanded this criterion to age 5, the federal mandate remains somewhat ineffective. Interestingly, findings from Dr. Fusco’s research indicate that there is no significant difference between children of substantiated maltreatment cases and children without. Furthermore, CPS workers are only mandated to screen the child subject of the referral overlooking other children who may be in the same home. This is concerning because those children also show developmental and socioemotional issues and are often deprived of mediation. Both of these reasons indicate the benefits of universal screening which has received strong support and current initiatives since this podcast was recorded (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2020). Dr. Fusco also discussed children in rural areas and a lack of service. Other barriers such as transportation inhibit these communities from receiving the help they need. Children in rural areas also have higher rates of developmental and socioemotional issues compared to children in urban communities. Dr. Fusco noted that although telehealth services aren’t ideal, creative ways to deliver service to rural populations is imperative to address these public health problems. One of the biggest challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic has been continuing to provide quality services in compliance with safety requirements. However, this pandemic can serve as a learning experience. Applying lessons from these times to expand services to children and families in hard-to-reach areas may help to prevent and address their socioemotional, developmental needs, and other needs.

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Average Rating: 4stars  i really enjoyed listening!, Monday, February 10, 2020

By Casey FitzGerald :

I enjoyed hearing from Dr. Fusco about developmental mental health screening in child welfare and how it effects rural communities. I feel that this is a very important thing for these children because early intervention programs can make a huge difference in development over a child’s lifetime. I found this podcast very informative on the subject and enjoyed hearing this perspective.

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Average Rating: 5stars  universal screening and the need for more services in rural communities, Friday, January 25, 2013

By Sarah :

Dr. Fusco mentions that children in rural communities tend to have more children that screen for developmental or mental health needs. What I enjoyed about this podcast is that Dr. Fusco created a clear path of what is happening with the universal screening in rural communities in Pennsylvania. She first explains what the intentions of universal screening is. Dr. Fusco then talks about the importance of engaging the parents and allowing them to see that child welfare is not as punitive as it may be perceived. She concludes with talking about the need for expansion of services in rural communities. In Pennsylvania's rural communities, even when the children are screened and either the children or their families need services whether developmental or mental health, they do not have access to the services they need in a timely manner. Dr. Fusco is clearly able to demonstrate what she states is the "disconnect between needs and actual services available."


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