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Program Assessment


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Childrens Mental Health Services

The Children's Mental Health program provides 6-year grants to implement, improve and expand systems of care to meet the needs of children with serious emotional disturbances and their families. This approach emphasizes culturally competent care, family driven and youth guided practice, and multi-agency collaboration.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • The Children's Mental Health Services program is making a unique contribution to improve care for children with serious emotional disturbance, despite reaching a limited number of communities. The program is the only Federal funding source targeted to support comprehensive, community-based mental health services for children.
  • The program uses performance information to improve annual outcomes. For example, when data showed a decrease in referrals from child welfare and education systems in 2001, the program increased technical assistance to grantees to emphasize interagency collaboration at the local level through expertise in child welfare, education, juvenile justice, and primary care.
  • The program is meeting most of its annual targets, but has not yet reported data on its long-term measures. In 2005, it exceeded its target of 53% of participants having no law enforcement contact at 6 months. 68.3% of participants met the goal. The program did not meet its target of 3.65 fewer days per client spent in inpatient/residential facilities, since the average stay is 1.75 fewer days.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Tracking how well children's behavioral and emotional symptoms improve.
  • Tracking cost efficiencies.
  • Completing an evaluation of the performance of the national evaluation team that is responsible for the Children's Program program evalulation activities.

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