Christopher Bellonci


Dr. Christopher Bellonci is a Board-Certified Child/Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist; and Vice President for Policy and Practice/Chief Medical Officer at Judge Baker Children’s Center ( Dr. Bellonci is a member of AACAP’s Workgroup on Quality Issues which is responsible for writing the practice parameters that define the standards of care for the field of child psychiatry.  He is currently leading the Clinical Distance Learning Series of the TA Network in support of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s Systems of Care initiative. Dr. Bellonci is a founding member of SAMHSA’s Building Bridges Initiative and LGBTQI2-S National Workgroup. He was also a member of the Outcomes Roundtable for Children and Families. In 2008 he provided testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor regarding unlicensed and unregulated boot camps and wilderness programs as well as the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support regarding the increasing use of psychotropic medications for children in the Child Welfare System.  Dr. Bellonci provides consultation, lectures and technical assistance nationally on the subjects of child psychiatric practice, foster care, special education, residential treatment, sexual minority youth and mental health best practices.

Professional Positions

1993-1995 | Staff Psychiatrist, Brighton-Allston Mental Health Center, Brighton, Mass.

1995-2014 | Medical Director, Walker Home and School, Needham, Mass.

2002-2008 | Psychiatric Consultant, Department of Children’s Services, Nashville, Tenn.

2010-2017 | Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Attending Psychiatrist, Tufts University School of Medicine/Tufts Medical Center, Boston.

2017-present | Vice President for Policy and Practice; Chief Medical Officer, Judge Baker Children’s Center, Boston.

Teaching Positions

1991-1993 | Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass.

1993-1995 | Director, School Consultation Program, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass.

1993-2007 | Clinical Instructor, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

1993-2007 | Assistant Attending Child Psychiatrist, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass.

1993-2007 | Clinical Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

2010-present | Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Attending Psychiatrist, Tufts University School of Medicine/Tufts Medical Center, Boston.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications, White Papers, and Selected Reports

Most Relevant to the Current Application

Kreider AR, Matone, M, Bellonci C, dosReis S, Feudtner C, Huang Y-S, Rubin DM. Growth in the Concurrent Use of Antipsychotics With Other Psychotropic Medications in Medicaid-Enrolled Children. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry; 2014, 53 (9).

Bellonci, C and Huefner, J. Best Practices in Psychotropic Medication Treatment during Residential Interventions for Youth and Families in Best Practices in Residential Mental Health Services edited by Gary Blau, Beth Caldwell, and Robert Lieberman. Taylor & Francis/Routledge, N.Y.

Bellonci C, Huefner JC, Griffith AK, Vogel-Rosen G, Smith GL, Preston S. Concurrent Reductions in Psychotropic Medication, Assault, and Physical Restraint in Two Residential Treatment Programs for Youth. Child and Youth Services Review 35 (2013) 1773-1779.

Mackie, TI, Bellonci, C, & Leslie LK. Fostering Appropriate Psychotropic Medication Use among Youth in Foster Care: The Problem, Policy Response, and Resources. CW 360˚: A Comprehensive Look at Prevalent Child Welfare Issues, January 2013.

Hayek, M., Mackie, T.I., Mule, C.M., Bellonci, C., Hyde, J., Bakan, J.S., Leslie, L.K. (2013). A multi-state study on mental health evaluation for children entering foster care. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. Advance online publication. DOI 10.1007/s10488-013-0495-

Bellonci, C, Gleason, M. (2012). A collaborative agenda to improve psychotropic medication safety monitoring in Child Welfare.  Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 51 (9).

Mackie TI, Hyde J, Rodday AM, Dawson, EH, Lakshmikanthan, R, Bellonci C, Schoonover, D, Leslie L.K. (2011). Psychotropic medication oversight for youth in foster care: A national perspective on state child welfare policy and practice guidelines. Children and Youth Services Review, 22(33):2213-2220.

Lisa Hunter Romanelli, John Landsverk, Jessica Mass Levitt, Laurel K. Leslie, Maia M. Hurley, Christopher Bellonci, Leonard T. Gries, Peter J. Pecora, Peter S. Jensen, and the Child Welfare Mental Health Best Practices Group. Best Practices for Mental Health in Child Welfare: Screening, Assessment, and Treatment Guidelines. Journal of Child Welfare, Issue 1.

Additional Publications of Importance to the Field

Small, RW, Bellonci, C. Ramsey, S. (2014) Creating and Maintaining Family Partnerships in Residential Treatment Programs: Shared Decisions, Full Participation, Mutual Responsibility. In Whittaker, JK, del Valle, JF, Holmes, L. (Eds.), Therapeutic Residential Care for Children and Youth: Developing Evidence-Based International Practice (pp. 156-167). London, U.K.: Jessica Kingsley.

Bellonci C, Jordan PE, Massey OT, Lieberman O, Zubritsky C, Edwall G. (2012). Issue brief: Reframing Mental Health Practice for Children, Youth and Families: In search of developmental competencies to improve functioning across life domains. SAMHSA, Washington, D.C.