Mental health services at tertiary level for children from residential child care: professionals’ point of view
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The goal of the article is to discuss mental health services at tertiary level for children from residential care in Lithuania from professionals’ point of view. Content analysis revealed several topics, three of which are discussed in the article: professional responsibilities and relations with other professionals, inter-professional collaboration inside and outside organizations, main obstacles for mental health services provision. Research data showed that responsibilities of different professionals (doctors (psychiatrists), psychologist and social workers) are clearly understood and separated. Also, interconnections are found, however, these interconnections reflect not only different professional identities, but hierarchical relations, as well. There is inter-professional cooperation inside and outside mental health and child care organizations. Lack of communication, organizational restrictions, imperfection of health care system and personal factors were identified as the main obstacles for a good practice. The key challenge is the collaboration at tertiary level when a child is hospitalized. Both sides, mental health and child care services providers, see the problems concerning communication, interconnection and continuation of services. The data reflected not only problems of inter-professional cooperation between mental health and child care organizations, but also not good regulations of information flow between professionals, as information could be provided only from the same professional to the same professional. It is not clear how other professionals, such as social workers, group teachers–supervisors, could receive this information in child care system. Usually, it varies from case to case and depends on regulations of a specific child care organization or personal interest of a professional.
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