Best Practices for Children & Adolescents

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is committed to providing professionals in the field of Behavioral Health with best practices in serving the needs of Tennessee’s children and adolescents.

These guidelines have been developed to offer psychiatrists, primary care physicians, psychologists, health service providers, nurses, nurse clinicians, physician extenders, social workers and other health care professionals with evidence-based best practices in serving individuals from birth to the age of 17.

Best Practice Goals

  • Promote high quality of care for children and adolescents served by Tennessee’s public health system
  • Aid in identification, evaluation, and provision of effective treatment for persons with severe mental illness and severe emotional disorders
  • Stimulate continuity of care through establishment of uniform treatment options and the best use of multidisciplinary treatment resources

More than 100 stakeholders from across the state took part in a 2013 revision of the Behavioral Health Guidelines. We hope you find these best practices to be beneficial in serving the needs of Tennessee’s children and families.

Click to download the entire 500 page document, or select from individual chapters listed below.

INTRODUCTORY CHAPTERS:

1. Introduction & Table of Contents – 1-19
2. Best Practices: Evidence Based – 20-32
3. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health – 33-45
4. Trauma-Informed Care – 46-76

GUIDELINES FOR SELECTED DISORDERS INVOLVING CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS:

5. Anxiety Disorders – 77-100
6. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – 101-116
7. Autism Spectrum Disorders – 117-131
8. Disruptive Behavior Disorders – 132-161
9. Disturbances/Disorders of Attachment – 162-194
10. Eating Disorders – 195-207
11. Mood Disorders – 208-231
12. Schizophrenia – 232-261
13. Co-occurring Disorders: An Integrated Approach – 262-282

AREAS OF SPECIAL CONCERN IN BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS:

14. Intellectual Disability and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders – 283-296
15. Children with Sexual Behavior Problems – 297-308
16. Adolescents Who Have Engaged In Sexually Abusive Behavior – 309-330
17. Children and Adolescents Who Identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgendered and Gender Nonconforming, or Questioning – 331-335
18. Children and Adolescents with Mental Health and Physical Disorders – 336-342
19. Children and Adolescents in Child Welfare – 343-346
20. Psychosocial versus Pharmacological Treatments – 347-355
21. Medication Safety – 356-362
22. Obtaining Informed Consent for Children and Adolescents – 363-366
23. Screening, Assessment, and Evaluation – 367-371
24. Cultural Competence – 372-376
25. Bibliotherapy – 377-378

DEPARTMENTAL PROGRAMS:

26. TDMHSAS Programs Serving Children and Adolescents and/or Their Families – 379-386

APPENDIX A: COUNCIL ON CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH

27. Interagency Systems of Care for Children’s Mental Health – 387-419

APPENDIX B: SCREENING TOOLS AND ASSESSMENT RESOURCES – 420-427

28. Child/Adolescent Psychiatry Screen (CAPS) – 428-435
29. Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC) – 436-444
30. Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED) – 445-453
31. Swanson, Nolan and Pelham Teacher and Parent Rating Scale (Snap-IV) – 454-463
32. Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale and Teacher Rating Scale – 464-472
33. Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) – 473-477
34. Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC) – 478-482
35. Parent Version of the Young Mania Rating Scale (P-YMRS) – 483-488
36. CRAFFT – 489-492
37. References and Other Diagnostic Resources – 493-500