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  1. The Special Education Perspective Healthy Generations Videoconference November 18, 2004 Cindy Shevlin-Woodcock, Interagency/Mental Health Specialist Minnesota Department of Education

  2. December 1, 2003 Child Count for Students Ages 5-18 Special Education Population = 104,676 General Education Population = 812,802

  3. Risk for Mental Health Disorders Increases for Children Who Have: • Physical problems/chronic illness • Intellectual disabilities/cognitive impairments • Low birth weight, prenatal exposure to alcohol, drugs, and tobacco • Family history of mental or addictive disorders • Multigenerational poverty/deprivation • Caregiver separation • Neglect or abuse/stressful unsatisfactory relationships • Exposure to traumatic events Child Mental Health Foundations and Agencies Network (2000) National Advisory Mental Health Council (1990)

  4. Prevalence Among Children and Youth with Developmental Problems Strong indicators that children with developmental problems may have up to 4 times the likelihood of having a concurrent mental health diagnosis. Crnic, et. al., 2004

  5. Use of Mental Health ServicesAmong Children with Disabilities • Only 2 in 5 disabled children with poor psychosocial adjustment receive mental health services. • The school setting is one in which barriers to mental health services are reduced. • Children with disabilities with poor psychosocial adjustment were four times as likely to receive mental health counseling in the special education setting. • Race/ethnicity barriers were also reduced in the school setting • Coordination of services was correlated with increased likelihood of access to and use of mental health care. Witt, 2003

  6. Minnesota System of Interagency Coordination (MnSIC) “…It is the policy of the state to • develop and implement • a coordinated • multidisciplinary service system • for children ages birth to 21 • with disabilities.” Minn Stat 125A.023

  7. Minnesota System of Interagency Coordination (MnSIC) • Minnesota Departments of Education, Minnesota Department of Human Services, Minnesota Department of Corrections, Human Rights, Employment and Economic Development (Rehabilitation Services and State Services for the Blind), Commerce and Health

  8. Coordinated InteragencySystem • For Each Child who has a Disability • An interagency intervention service system • That coordinates services and programs • Required in state and federal law • An Individual Interagency Intervention Plan (IIIP) planning process and document.

  9. Coordinated InteragencySystem • Target Population • Children, youth and their families • Ages birth to 21 • Services from 2 or more agencies • Disability as defined by MN Statutes 125A.02 (Special Education)

  10. Coordination of Services • Individual Child/Youth • Service Coordination • Case Management • Care Coordination • System • Interagency Agreement • System Components • Leadership

  11. The WIT ProjectStrategic Plan September 2003 What It Takes: Improving Access to and Coordination of Mental Health Services for Children and Youth with Disabilities, Birth through 21

  12. Vision Minnesota children with disabilities and their families have access to a coordinated system of mental health services in order to improve educational and social outcomes.

  13. Cindy Shevlin-WoodcockInteragency/Mental Health Specialist Minnesota Department of Education 651.582.8656 Web site:

  14. References Minnesota Department of Education, Special Education. Unduplicated child count reports, December 2003. Retrieved September 27, 2004 from Crnic, K., Hoffman, C.,Gaze,C., Edelbrock.,C., Understanding the Emergence of Behavior Problems in Young Children with Developmental Delays. Infants and Young Children, 2004, Vol. 17, No.3, pp.223-235. Witt W, Kasper J, Riley A. Mental health services use among school-aged children with disabilities: The role of sociodemographics, functional limitations, family burdens and care coordination. Health Services Research 2003;38:6 Pt 1):1441-1466. Overview of MNSiC. Retrieved September 27, 2004 from Minnesota Department of Education. The WIT Project Strategic Plan, September 2003. Retrieved September 27, 2004 from