REACH Institute collaboration on mental health
Providing mental health resources for child welfare professionals and those they serve

The REACH Institute, in collaboration with Casey Family Programs, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Harvard Medical School, Division of Trauma Psychiatry of the North Shore‐LIJ Health System, and Columbia University, has developed the following resources to help child welfare agencies address the mental health needs of youth in foster care:

  • Mental health practice guidelines
  • Mental health screening and diagnostic assessment process
  • Evidence‐based treatment training for clinicians
  • Parent Empowerment and Self‐Advocacy (PESA) curriculum
  • Taking Control youth empowerment curriculum

Mental Health Practice Guidelines
These guidelines for child welfare agencies and related settings are the result of work that began at the 2007 Best Practices for Mental Health in Child Welfare Consensus Conference.

Mental health screening and diagnostic assessment
REACH offers training to foster care agency staff in the use of the following tools:

  • Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)
  • Ohio Youth Problem, Functioning, & Satisfaction Scales (Ohio Scales)
  • Early Warning Signs (EWS)
  • DISC Predictive Scales (DPS)

Training entails learning how to administer each of the tools as well as and implement a screening process to quickly identify youth in need of a complete mental health evaluation and possible treatment.

www.thereachinstitute.orgEvidence‐based treatment training for clinicians
REACH offers hands-on, sustained training for mental health clinicians in brief, evidence‐based interventions for:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other Disruptive Behavior Disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Training involves two days of interactive instruction delivered by national experts followed by one year of bi‐weekly consultation calls. Training focuses on the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Behavior Therapy and other proven methods and the use of clear, easy‐to‐follow manuals.

Parent Empowerment and Self‐Advocacy curriculum
PESA helps birth parents, foster parents and caseworkers in the child welfare system collaborate effectively to meet the mental health and educational needs of their children.

REACH provides PESA training to facilitator teams. Training involves self‐study, three days of interactive instruction, practice and discussion followed by bi‐weekly consultation calls.

Taking Control youth empowerment curriculum
Taking Control is a six session group program designed to help youth in foster care, ages 12 to 18, develop self‐awareness and skills to advocate for themselves and get their emotional, psychological and social needs met.

The Division of Trauma Psychiatry of the North Shore‐LIJ Health System provides training and ongoing consultation in how to deliver the Taking Control curriculum to youth.

For more information
To learn more about any of the resources described in this flyer, please contact Lisa Hunter Romanelli, director of programs, REACH Institute.