Medicaid provides health coverage for most children and youth involved in the nation’s foster care system. A disproportionate number of these children – nearly one in three – use behavioral health services. This population represents only three percent of all children in Medicaid, but 15 percent of those using behavioral health services and 29 percent of Medicaid expenditures for children’s behavioral health services.

This fact sheet details behavioral health care use and expense for this high-need population, and outlines policy implications, drawing from CHCS’ national analysis of 2005 Medicaid claims data, Faces of Medicaid: Examining Children’s Behavioral Health Service Utilization and Expenditures.