2016 Consortium Track

Each year we organize a track of presentations on evidence-based practice in systems of care for the Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference that engages more than 500 participants to share emerging knowledge and address current challenges.


families in society

2016 Child and Family EBP Consortium Track

Five presentations from this track were selected for publication in a special section of the January 2017 edition of Families in Society that will celebrate the 30th anniversary of this conference. Selected presentations are highlighted below.

Monday March 14th Session 2

10:00 am – 11:30 am
Bayshore VI ~ (Symposium)

Reconceiving Child Welfare Transformation: Community Conversations, Organizational Assessment, Program Implementation and University Partnership
Symposium Chair: Rosalyn Bertram, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Missouri Kansas City, Child and Family Evidence Based Practice Consortium, Kansas City, MO

A community-based participatory evaluation and a systematic organizational health assessment informed Missouri Children’s Division selection of new philosophy and practice. However, hope and inspiration generated by these efforts produced hasty installation and a rush into initial implementation.

This symposium presents how policy-to-practice and practice-to-policy feedback loops identified constraining implementation assumptions and practices as they emerged, as well as tools developed through university partnership to correct these oversights.

Taking the Pulse: Community-based Participatory Evaluation and Comprehensive Organizational Health Assessment
Tim Decker, MSW, Children’s Division, Missouri Department of Social Services, Jefferson City, MO

In community conversations across Missouri, a Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary introduced a value-based philosophy of five factors contributing to the well-being of children and families. These discussions evaluated how that philosophy could transform family engagement by child welfare services. Results were examined in light of a comprehensive organizational health assessment conducted through a National Child Welfare Workforce Initiative (NCWWI) grant. Findings informed Missouri Children’s Division selection and implementation of new philosophy and practices.

Haste Makes Waste: Implementation Lessons in Child Welfare Transformation
Rosalyn Bertram, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Missouri Kansas City, Child and Family Evidence Based Practice Consortium, Kansas City, MO; Tim Decker, MSW, Children’s Division, Missouri Department of Social Services, Jefferson City, MO

Installation and initial implementation of new Missouri child welfare practices began in Kansas City. An implementation team identified multiple policies and procedures forcing families through a gauntlet of repetitive assessment and planning processes that constrain family engagement, and increase alternative placements.

Required assessment and planning tools were reduced by 50%. An ambitious training plan introduced Signs of Safety as the new engagement, assessment and planning process. However, enthusiasm, logistics, and unexamined assumptions created implementation challenges.

NCWWI University Partnership: Implementation Feedback Loops in Child Welfare Transformation
Rosalyn Bertram, PhD, Megan Gillies, MSW, Soo-Whan Choi, MA, School of Social Work, University of Missouri Kansas City, Child and Family Evidence Based Practice Consortium, Kansas City, MO

Fortunately, NCWWI university partnership MSW trainees’ weekly field learning reports identified both strong and inconsistent implementation patterns, limited use of learning labs, and staff uncertainty regarding the interface of various child welfare services. Trainees also produced implementation evaluations of each public and private service site. In practice-to-policy feedback loops, a NCWWI field instructor academy and the grant leadership team review these data sources, sharing challenges, lessons, and solutions with the Kansas City and statewide implementation teams.

Monday March 14th Session 13

3:45 pm – 5:15 pm
Bayshore VI (Symposium)

Statewide Dissemination of Evidence-based Practice: Lessons Learned from an 8-year Initiative
Symposium Chair: Jason Lang, PhD, Child Health and Development Institute, Farmington, CT; Discussant: Kristina Stevens, LCSW, Clinical and Community Consultation and Support Division, Connecticut Department of Children and Families, Hartford, CT

This symposium will describe results from Connecticut’s model for disseminating and sustaining TF-CBT across a statewide system of care over the past eight years. Connecticut has designated a Center of Excellence that partners with state agencies, community-based providers, EBP trainers, academic partners, and family advocates in the role of an intermediary organization to support dissemination of EBPs (Franks, 2010). The Center of Excellence provides initial EBP implementation using learning collaboratives (Ebert, Amaya-Jackson, Markiewicz, Kisiel, & Fairbank, 2012) and other implementation strategies, ongoing sustainment and quality improvement through implementation consultation, data collection and reporting, administration of performance-based financial incentives, and integration with other state systems (Lang, Franks, Epstein, Stover, & Oliver, 2015).. This initiative has resulted in more than 800 clinicians trained across 30 community-based agencies and provision of TF-CBT to more than 5,000 children. A mixed methods approach to evaluation has been used, including data at the agency, clinician, and child levels.

Monday March 14th Session 27

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Esplanade II ~ (Discussion Hour)

Addressing Behavioral and Primary Health Disparities and Access to Care for Young Adults of Color
Elisabeth Cannata, PhD, Community-Based Family Services and Practice Innovation, Wheeler Clinic, Plainville, CT

Recognizing the need to enhance health equity for low-income and vulnerable populations with serious behavioral health disorders, including young adults, Wheeler refined its strategic direction to build a more systemic integrated approach to whole-person health through the establishment of Health & Wellness Centers. These Centers, located in Hartford and Bristol, CT, were developed in collaboration with key strategic partners and provide an integrated, comprehensive continuum of patient-centered primary care, behavioral health and community resources, supported by multidisciplinary health teams, to reduce disparities in care, enhance health equity and achieve the triple aim of health reform: improve health, reduce costs & increase quality. Young adults enrolled in Wheeler’s behavioral health and intervention programs and services received a comprehensive health assessment, were educated about primary care and wellness, and engaged in care with emphasis on preventive screenings.

Tuesday March 15th Session 35

10:00 am – 10:30 am
Bayshore VI ~ (Paper)

Fundamentals of the Implementation of Evidence-based Practices: Essential Elements of an Intermediary Organization
Robert Franks, PhD, Christopher Bory, PsyD, Judge Baker Children’s Center, Boston, MA

This presentation will build upon the growing literature in the field of implementation science to propose a blueprint for the development of intermediary organizations to support the implementation of evidence-based practices and programs.

10:30 am – 11:00 am
Bayshore VI ~ (Paper)

Assessing Organizational Readiness: A Critical Step in Improving the Quality of Care
Christopher Bory, PsyD, Robert Franks, PhD, Judge Baker Children’s Center, Boston, MA

A critical step in improving the quality of care is to determine whether systems and organizations are ready for change. Presenters will describe the conceptual background and practical application of assessing organizational readiness when implementing an evidence-based practice in community-based settings. The presentation will include a description of the evidence-based practice, an overview of the methods utilized, the results of the readiness assessment, and implications for practice change within the system of care.

Tuesday March 15th Session 46

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Bayshore VI ~ (Paper)

Building Strong Clinicians: Training to Promote Readiness for Supervision and Evidence-based Treatment
Elisabeth Cannata, PhD, Community-Based Family Services and Practice Innovation, Wheeler Clinic, Plainville, CT

This discussion hour will define and underscore the opportunity for best-practice supervision through jobs within Evidence Based Treatment programs and provide an overview of a successful partnership between Wheeler Clinic and Fordham University to promote pre-service workforce readiness for EBTs. Discussion will focus on clinical skill building activities to elicit interest and readiness for EBTs and specific instructional challenges and strategies within the traditional classroom as well online graduate training.

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Bayshore VI ~ (Paper)

The National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Child Welfare
Geetha Gopalan, LCSW, Jennifer Mettrick, Pamela Freeman, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD; Sue Kerns, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

The National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Child Welfare (NCEBPCW) responds to the discontinuities between the mental health needs of youth involved in child welfare services and treatment services they receive. NCEBPCW focuses on building the capacity of child welfare agency staff, mental health provider agency staff, and public city/state/county leadership to effectively identify, assess, and respond to the mental health needs of child welfare involved children/youth guided by open-source evidence-based treatment models.

Tuesday March 15th Session 57

3:45 pm – 4:15 pm
Bayshore VI ~ (Paper)

Be a Hero for Zero: Implementing the Zero Suicide Framework in Behavioral Health Systems
Molly Lopez, PhD, Erica Shapiro, PhD, Deborah Cohen, PhD, University of Texas, Austin, TX; Jenna Heise, MA, Mental Health and Substance Use Division, Texas Department State Health Services, Austin, TX

Led by the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas’ Zero Suicide initiative is taking a statewide approach to addressing the high-risk population of individuals served by the public mental health system. The effort builds upon the infrastructure developed in the state over the last decade, including a State Suicide Prevention Council, a statewide strategic plan, and a strong collaborations with partner organizations and community coalitions. The Texas Suicide Safe Care approach includes a comprehensive multi-level focus with the goal of ensuring an effective, coordinated network of supports aimed at identifying, referring, treating, and supporting individuals at risk of suicide.

4:15 pm – 4:45 pm
Bayshore VI ~ (Paper)

Cornerstone: An Empirically-supported Intervention for Transition-age Youth with Mental Disorders
Michelle Munson, PhD, Andrea Cole, MSW, Shelly Ben-David, MSW, Social Work, New York University, New York, NY; Beth Sapiro, MSW, Social Work, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

This study presents a blueprint for developing an evidence-supported psychosocial intervention for transition-age youth with serious mental health challenges. The blueprint includes a strong theoretical basis, designing an initial program manual, and examining feedback from stakeholders. Interviews and group discussions were utilized to collect information on intervention (N=50). The team used constant comparative methods. Then, refined the manual, which is being used in our NIMH-funded efficacy trial. The presentation will describe the final program Cornerstone.

Wednesday March 16th Session 68

10:00 am – 11:30 am
Bayshore VI ~ (Symposium)

Building Agency Capacity to Implement Evidence-based Trauma Treatments
Symposium Chair: Virginia Strand, DSW, Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, West Harrison, NY; Discussant: Marciana Popescu, PhD, Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, West Harrison, NY

Challenges and success in the implementation of evidence-based trauma treatments in child and family-service agencies are presented. Results from a time series design assessing organizational readiness to implement an evidence-based trauma treatment identify critical factors. A unique aspect of the initiative is the selection of different evidence-based trauma treatments at different agencies. All sites have followed the implementation process outlined in the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) framework.

Organizational Readiness in the Installation Stage of Implementing Evidence-based Trauma Treatments
Annette Semanchin Jones, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Complex trauma histories in childhood, if not addressed, can have a negative impact on cognitive, social, and emotional outcomes throughout development. This study examined the organizational readiness of an agency implementing Real Life Heroes in a foster care and residential program. Findings from baseline and 12-month follow-up will be presented. Implications will be discussed, focusing on the Installation phase of implementation, based on the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) framework.

Trauma-informed Organizational Change at the Initial Implementation Phase: Enhancing Clinical Competence
Ineke Way, PhD, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

This study examined trauma-informed organizational change in a family service agency implementing Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Findings from baseline, 6-month, and 12-month follow-up will be presented. The National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) framework for organizational change will be used to examine implications for further organizational change to enhance improved child/client outcomes.

Implementing Trauma Systems Therapy in a Multi-service Family Agency
Virginia Strand, DSW, Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, West Harrison, NY

Findings illustrating changes in organizational readiness from baseline through 6, 12 and 18 months in a family service agency are presented. Results reflect a particular focus on strengthening the organizational drivers (data support decision-systems, and facilitative administration), which emerged as a need at the 6-month follow-up. The agency is in Full Implementation stage, implementing Trauma-System Therapy (TST) with the initial 5 programs, and replicating the process with 6 additional programs.