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Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc. (WRMA), prime contractor, and ICF Macro (Macro), principal subcontractor, known jointly as the National Evaluation Team (NET), are conducting the national evaluation of fiscal year (FY) 2005-funded and 2006-funded grantees of CMHI. This constitutes Phase V of the national evaluation. In addition, the NET is conducting Phase VI of the evaluation (with WRMA as a subcontractor to Macro), working with FY 2008-funded grant communities. The initiative was designed to encourage the development of intensive community-based services for children and adolescents with serious emotional, behavioral, or mental disorders. The findings of the national evaluation are used to provide a basis for state and federal mental health policy development, and to inform local program development. Project findings are also disseminated throughout the professional community and to Congress. In addition, the NET provides training and technical assistance to local communities on national evaluation processes and procedures.
For both Phases V and VI, some components of the evaluation data collection are carried out by evaluators in the grant communities, following a national evaluation protocol, and some components are carried out by the NET. Local evaluation teams collect basic descriptive data on children and adolescents served and their families, and conduct semi-annual interviews with adolescents and their caregivers, covering a variety of outcomes, including satisfaction with services they have received. These data are submitted by the local evaluation teams to the national evaluation. The evaluation at the national level (i.e., the data collected by the NET) examines the systems of care implemented by grantee communities, including how they develop, service costs and utilization patterns, and system characteristics that make the community infrastructure sustainable.
The NET also conducts (or has conduced) four special studies for the Phase V evaluation looking at issues of cultural competency; implementation of evidence-based practices; financincing and sustainability of tribal programs; and use of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Progress Reports (produced by the NET) by grant communities. For Phase VI, the national evaluation is adding a sector-specific comparative study for youth and families involved with the child welfare, juvenile justice, or education systems. WRMA is leading the study of the child welfare sector. Phase VI special studies include a WRMA-lead comprehensive evaluation of the CMHI's data-driven technical assistance and CQI efforts.
Annual Report to Congress
An Annual Report to Congress is produced for each year of the national evaluation. This report presents findings based on the cumulative data collected through June of the report's year. In addition, many journal articles and conference presentations are prepared throughout the national evaluation.
Publical release pending.