There has been a major shift in the way we conceptualize and provide services to children and adolescents with mental health needs. We are moving away from the traditional disorder-oriented model of treatment to a child-centered, family-focused service delivery system that mandates mental health services in the context of the child's family and social ecology. This new system of care has spawned many variations of the model, including wraparound services, multisystemic treatment (MST), futures planning, and person-centred planning.
As systems of care are different across countries and cultures, it is imperative that we share our knowledge and make explicit the lessons we have learned in our attempts to provide services to children and adolescents which focus on improving their quality of life rather than merely treating their psychiatric disorders and psychological problems. There is an urgent need to evaluate the various treatments being offered to children and adolescents with mental health needs. Empirical date on outcomes will determine the funding and delivery of services. As such, the latest research on treatment outcomes needs to be disseminated so that new and validated treatment methods can be implemented rapidly.