The National Center for Adoption Competent Mental Health Services


Building Bridges to Improve Mental Health

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Our Mission

We will support States, Tribes, and territories (STTs) in building bridges between child welfare systems and state mental health systems, which is key to bringing about systemic change to improve the mental health outcomes for children in care and families impacted by the child welfare system. 


Funded by the United States Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Children’s Bureau in October 2023, the newly launched National Center for Adoption Competent Mental Health Services will provide targeted technical assistance and evidence-informed training to strengthen coordination and capacity among child welfare and mental health systems to ensure that children, young adults, and families have access to mental health professionals who are trained to provide culturally and linguistically relevant child welfare competent mental health services to address separation, grief, trauma, and other challenges that can arise. This National Center represents an important way that the Children’s Bureau provides technical assistance to State, Tribes, and territories. 

The National Center will work together with The National Center for Diligent Recruitment and The National Center for Enhanced Post-Adoption Support on behalf of the Children’s Bureau to improve the safety, permanency, and well-being of children through productive partnerships with States, Tribes, and communities. 



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The National Center will work with national leaders as well as parents and young adults with lived experience to deliver new and enhanced support and training to states, tribes, territories, and professionals to meet the needs of children and families. The Center will provide intensive technical assistance to six States, Tribes, and territories each year and will be funded at $4 million for each year of the five-year award.


Target audience

  • Child welfare professionals and systems
  • Mental health professionals and systems
  • Children, youth, and families who will receive adoption competent mental health services
  • Allied professionals in relevant areas of work that are also impacted by improved collaboration between child welfare and mental health
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Technical Assistance

Read more about the technical assistance The National Center will provide.
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Child Welfare Competent Mental Health

Learn about child welfare competent mental health and the value in increasing accessibility and availability of competent mental health services for children and families.
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Funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, Grant # 90CO1145

The contents of this website do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the funder, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.