Parental mental illness is one of the most challenging presenting problems to address in the child welfare field. There are specific risks associated with children who live in homes where parents are diagnosed with a mental illness or display symptoms of a mental illness. Children of parents with mental illness experience an increased risk of developmental problems, behavioral problems and emotional problems. Because of poor treatment outcomes and ineffective mental health treatment programs, a significant number of parents with mental illness who are involved with the child welfare system fail to be reunited with their children. Of greater concern than high numbers of failed reunification are the poor outcomes found in foster children who live with parents with mental illness. Creating effective treatment plans for parental mental illness is necessary to identify effective programs and increase collaboration between mental health and child welfare professionals to improve reunification. This course discusses the importance of creating a treatment plan for parental mental illness for families involved in the child welfare systems and takes a detailed look at how mental illness impacts parenting and how to address barriers to creating an effective approach to treatment and reunification.