This paper provides a summary of issues related to psychosocial and mental health programs for children, adolescents and families following the end of the conflict and mass displacement of Kosovar Albanians from Kosovo in 1999. The authors discuss the impact of war on children and families, their needs, and the recovery programs implemented by local and international agencies and institutions. A review of psychosocial programs within various service systems, including education, health, social services and mental health services, describes the challenges, successes and failures of creating a comprehensive, accessible system of care in an environment characterized by weak institutional and professional capacity, a relatively weak regulatory framework, and a plethora of actors, many with their own agendas and varying levels of expertise. The paper concludes that a public mental health approach is most effective when implemented within a continuum of care that provides a range of services for children, adolescents, and their families, ranging from public education to clinical psychiatric care.
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