ICF International authored a Short Report of findings from the national evaluation of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program (also called the Children's Mental Health Initiative, or CMHI) conducted by Children’s Mental Health, Trauma, and Suicide (CMHTS) in a Capitol Hill briefing. Released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this year’s report was the result of a team effort between CMHI and SAMHSA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI), also evaluated by CMHTS.
The report, "Promoting Recovery and Resilience for Children and Youth Involved in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems," outlines the extent to which traumatic events impact the lives of children and youth, especially those involved with the child welfare or juvenile justice systems. It also provides an overview of the extent to which children and youth served by CMHI and NCTSI are affected by traumatic events and how they improved as a result of services received through these initiatives and how SAMHSA is building a trauma-informed workforce.
Children and youth involved in child welfare and juvenile justice systems and served by CMHI showed significant improvements in behavioral and emotional symptoms and strengths and reductions in substance abuse problems. Arrests among youth involved with juvenile justice fell significantly, and suicide attempts among children and youth involved with child welfare fell from 6% to 1% in one year after service entry. Youth who developed new relationships with caring adults during their first six months in services were 38% more likely to improve in their behavioral and emotional health and nearly 50% more likely to improve their school performance than those who did not develop such relationships.
Children and youth involved in child welfare and juvenile justice systems and served by NCTSI showed significant reductions in PTSD symptoms within three months after entering services. After six months of treatment, children and youth involved in child welfare or juvenile justice systems showed significant improvement on academic problems and behavior problems at home. Fewer youth involved with juvenile justice had law enforcement contacts or substance abuse problems, and fewer youth involved with child welfare showed difficulties building relationships.
ICF has provided data reports for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day each year since the inception of this event. In 2006 and 2007, ICF prepared findings that were presented in congressional hearings and press releases. Since 2008, ICF has prepared a Short Report that is released each year at a congressional briefing. Short Reports released in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 were distributed in press releases and on national radio and television programs.