Evaluation of Mental Health Services for
Children and Their Families
Manteuffel, Robert Stephens, and Rolando Santiago (2002) have
published an overview of the National Evaluation of the Comprehensive
Community Mental Health for Children and Their Families Program.
This program has established systems of care for mental health
services in 67 U.S. communities. The CBCL and YSR were used to
assess children at intake and follow-up. Other measures included
the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) completed
by trained raters and the Residential-Living Environments and
Placement Stability Scale (ROLES). Initial CBCL scores for over
11,000 children and YSR scores for over 7,000 youths were significantly
associated with a variety of child and family risk factors. Problem
scores increased significantly as the number of risk factors increased.
Follow-up assessments over 2-year periods showed declines in CBCL
Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Problems scores that were
statistically significant and that were also clinically significant
according to Jacobson and Truax's Reliable Change Index (RCI).
Although the results indicated improvement for children who remained
in the study over a 2-year period, the authors pointed out that
their "evaluation was not intended to be a randomized controlled
trial, limiting our understanding of the impact of system change
and service delivery on children's outcomes" (p. 18). Nevertheless,
coordination of assessment over so many programs serving so many
children was a major advance in efforts to improve and demonstrate
systems of care.
Reference: Manteuffel, B., Stephens, R.L., & Santiago,
R. (2002). Overview of the National Evaluation of the Comprehensive
Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families
Program and Summary of Current Findings. Children's Services:
Social Policy, Research, and Practice, 5, 3-20.