An estimated 11 percent of American children have a mental health impairment, yet they rely upon a piece of the health care system that does not work well. Government policies for children's mental health operate in two ways: by affecting health insurance for children, and by funding services directly. Major changes within both categories have shaped the types, sources, and financing of services for children with mental health problems. These policies, along with scientific advances in child mental health, social changes, and health policy more generally, have contributed to an improvement in child mental health services over the past fifteen years.
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