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Children and Schools Resource Center

Last updated April 2021


Schools significantly impact the lives of children. Ninety-five percent of American youth are currently enrolled in school where they have direct contact with staff and peers at least six hours a day. These are the most critical years for social, physical and intellectual development. All children deserve to have positive and helpful experiences that nurture that development.

Children with mental health issues may have additional obstacles at school. Child psychiatrists can advocate for these children and families. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), federal law, not only protects the rights of children with disabilities by ensuring a free and appropriate public education, but also gives families the right to oversee how the school handles their child’s education.

Schools are the most universal natural setting for delivering services to children. They provide the opportunity to deliver an array of services that range from preventive services such as offering education about mental health issues, to specialized help or intensive treatment for those who need it, and therefore have the potential to improve outcomes for all children. Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists play a crucial role in collaborating and consulting with schools, to delivering psychiatric services, and creating a healthy and positive community for our youth.

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2021 by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry