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Children's Mental Health Case studies

Learn More About the Case studies

counselor, young girl, and mother

What Are the Case studies?

Extension CYFC’s online case studies introduce theories, research and practice ideas about children’s mental health within the ecological contexts in which children grow and develop. Each interactive, web-based case explores the experiences of a child and family over time, and presents case study users with questions about how to best meet their needs in that moment. The cases integrate research into common issues that come up in professional practice with children and families and invite users to “try on the hat” of specific professionals when answering questions and completing activities.

Each case study reflects a set of themes that the child and family experience. For example:

Each case identifies the needs of a child at specific stages of development and prompts users to make effective, research-based practice decisions.

By completing a case study participants will:

Why a case study format?

There are important challenges within children’s mental health service delivery systems.

Case studies introduce characters with history, relationships, and real-life problems. They offer users the opportunity to examine all these details, as well as pertinent research, and use analytic reasoning to make informed decisions about intervention based on the information that is available to them.

The case study format also allows users to see how preventive decisions can change outcomes later on. At every step, the case content and learning format encourages users to review the research to inform their decisions, and emphasizes the need to consider a growing child within ecological, developmental, and interdisciplinary frameworks.

Who are case studies for?

The case studies are designed with many audiences in mind:

This format engages many types of professionals from many disciplines without relegating care of the child to just one professional. Each case is based on the research, theories, practices and perspectives of people in all these fields. Specifically, the case studies emphasize the importance of considering an interdisciplinary framework; children’s needs cannot be met within the perspective of a single discipline. The complex problems children face require solutions that integrate many and diverse ways of knowing. The case studies also help everyone better understand the mental health needs of children. We all have a role to play.

How can I use these case studies?

For more information on using the case studies, see one of the case study webpages linked under "Related Resources."

Related resources

Brianna and Tanya: A Case Study About Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health — Explore this case study which focuses on a young African American mother, her daughter from infancy through kindergarten, and the many influences on their lives.

About Steven: A Children’s Mental Health Case Study About Depression — Work through this case study which focuses on a young Caucasian family and their son Steven from his infancy through adolescence.

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