Some of the newest challenges that affect social work practice come from rapid changes at the present time in federal, state, and local government reform that is directly impacting the types and amounts of services that will be provided.
It may be traumatic for a parent to accept that their child has a disability. It is not unusual for parents to feel confused, angry, or fearful if their child is "labeled."
Is it more serious to diagnose and "label" a child with a disability or is it more serious to not give a diagnosis and possible deprive a child of supportive services? The social worker must weigh carefully which course of action will most benefit and least damage the child.
The concept of mental health needs, as related to people with developmental disabilities and their families, is still emerging as efforts are made to provide mental health service to them.
Children and adults who have a history of not responding to traditional mental health intervention raise clinical concerns about their developmental status and should undergo developmental testing.
Children with mental disorders and unrecognized developmental disorders may exhibit disruptive behavioral that result in out of home placements, involvement with the legal system, school failure, and hospitalizations.
Children and adults with dual diagnosis tend to fall through a crack in the service system between mental health systems and developmental disabilities systems.
Center on Human Development and Disability,
Clinical Training Unit, University of Washington,
Box 357920, Seattle, WA 98195-7920 firstname.lastname@example.org