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RTC Waiver Program Research and Evaluation: Study 4

Training School and Community Mental Health Providers in Research

Estimates of behavioral health service utilization by youth and families tend to be low. Because involvement in evidence-based services is related to both symptom reduction and improvements in functioning (Becker, Chorpita, & Daleiden, 2011), identifying ways to enhance the participation of youth and families beyond the first session is critical to the success of home- and community-based behavioral health. To date, our team (in collaboration with our colleagues from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and PracticeWise) coded 38 randomized controlled trials on engagement and identified practice elements for family engagement that have empirical associations with positive outcomes for family engagement. Drs. Becker and Brandt have partnered with the Maryland Coalition for Families for Children’s Mental Health to build upon our previous work and further develop and refine strategies for family engagement and training in these strategies. The aims of the current study are to:

  1. collect baseline data to examine families’ perceived barriers to youth mental health services in a variety of community settings including schools and community mental health agencies,
  2. provide training and implementation support to 30-40 behavioral health clinicians and program administrators in multiple evidence-based strategies for enhancing engagement using a common elements framework,
  3. examine behavioral health clinicians’ decision-making processes in selecting engagement strategies to implement, and
  4. collect data and evaluate engagement across settings reflecting the continuum of care, including schools and community mental health agencies.

This study will advance the skills of behavioral health clinicians in Maryland with regard to engaging families and will result in enhanced engagement in services for families in need. The findings will inform best practices in family engagement that will advance the field at state and national levels.  

Study Leads:

Study Details & Lead Faculty

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