Improving Collaboration between Child Welfare and Behavioral Health

State child welfare and behavioral health agencies often serve the same children, youth, and families. Given the increased need for services for children and youth with high acuity, it is important for collaboration between child welfare and behavioral health. Julie Collins with the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) will provide an overview of the national landscape of child welfare and CWLA’s engagement with public and private agencies and partners to advance best practices. Collaboration between state behavioral health and child welfare agencies will be highlighted by representatives from Kentucky and Kansas. 



  • Julie Collins, MSW, LCSW, VP Practice Excellence, Child Welfare League of America 

  • Beth Jordan, MS, Program Manager, Children’s Mental Health & Recovery Services Branch, Division of Mental Health, Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental & Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID), Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services 

  • Jennifer Warren, MSSW, Executive Advisor, Commissioner’s Office, Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services 

  • Gary Henault, Director of Youth Services, Behavioral Health Commission, Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services 

  • Brenda Soto, LSCSW, Director, Medicaid and Children’s Mental Health, Kansas Department for Children and Families