• June 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 6

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National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Child Welfare

The Children's Bureau recently awarded a cooperative agreement for the National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Child Welfare to the University of Maryland, School of Social Work, Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children. The goal of this 5-year project is to increase local jurisdictions' capacity to implement and sustain quality, accessible, evidence-based treatment for children, youth, and families served by the child welfare system.

The Center has created Partnering for Success, an integrated, sustainable, cross-systems workforce competency model, designed to improve mental health outcomes for child welfare-involved children and youth. Partnering with agencies from selected jurisdictions, the Center aims to build the capacity of the public child welfare and mental health frontline workforces, as well as leadership from both systems, to implement trauma-informed, evidence-based practices.

Organizational and workforce capacity building are important mechanisms to ensure that agencies can support successful program implementation. Partnering for Success addresses this through a multiphase intervention that begins with engagement, self-assessment, and preparatory activities with the leadership team to provide the support necessary to ensure effective implementation. The next phase features comprehensive online and in-person learning, coaching, clinical consultation, and capacity building that will be jointly implemented across both child welfare and mental health systems. Technical assistance will be available to all participating jurisdictions.

Child welfare and mental health professionals and leadership from both systems will participate in specialized learning experiences that utilize a range of learning methods, modes of delivery, and field practice applications with ongoing consultation. Content for the child welfare and mental health professionals learning track is based on the CBT+ model, designed and evaluated in Washington State. CBT+ integrates a suite of publically available evidence-based approaches to treating anxiety, depression, conduct problems, and trauma and includes a parent education component.

In the next month, the Children's Bureau will continue to provide information to State child welfare and mental health directors, provider associations, and stakeholders about the Center. The Request for Applications (RFA), followed by an informational webinar, will be issued in early July 2014. Child welfare systems in States, Tribes, and the District of Columbia are invited to apply jointly with their State public mental health system (child and adolescent division). Implementing sites can be a single city or region. The RFA will provide indepth information about organizational support for sites, content for the integrated learning tracks, participant expectations, and site selection processes.

The National Center team looks forward to working with the first site in October 2014. Please contact Project Director Leslie Rozeff, at lrozeff@ssw.umaryland.edu, with any questions and visit our website at http://www.ncebpcw.org.

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