• June 2016
  • Vol. 17, No. 4

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Long-Term Benefits of Behavioral Health Services

The Washburn Center for Children, a Minneapolis-based mental health agency, formed a partnership with the University Of Minnesota's Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) to examine the long-term impact of treatment on children receiving Washburn Center services. The Washburn Center works with caregivers to regularly assess a child's functioning in emotions, conduct, hyperactivity, peer relationships, and prosocial skills. A "Total Difficulties" score is then given to determine a child's progress and levels of functioning over time. The Washburn treatment data are connected to records from the educational, child welfare, and juvenile court systems—through CASCW's Minnesota Linking Information for Kids project (Minn LInK)—to give professionals a better understanding of how children are progressing in treatment and functioning in areas such as school and community life.

CASCW conducted a study whose findings revealed that young children with social and emotional behavioral issues experienced significant improvement after receiving Washburn Center services—improvement that extends over the long term to enhanced school performance and community life. Data revealed that in addition to improved symptomology in the targeted behavioral areas, the children who completed treatment at the Washburn Center experienced a measurable advantage on school assessment tests and a reduced rate of posttreatment involvement with child welfare services. Juvenile court involvement rates were, however, similar to those of their peers not receiving treatment.

To access a report on the study, Outcomes of Children Receiving Mental Health Services From Washburn Center for Children, as well as supplemental Minn LInK briefs, visit http://cascw.umn.edu/portfolio-items/outcomes-of-children-receiving-mental-health-services-from-washburn-center-for-children-ml-25/.

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