Developing an Evidence-Based Technical Assistance Model: a Process Evaluation of the National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health

February 7, 2020

Michelle Zabel, Assistant Dean and Director of the Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the School of Social Work, and Marlene Matarese, Deputy Director at the Institute, are co-authors of new research published in The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research.  The work is titled "Developing an Evidence-Based Technical Assistance Model: a Process Evaluation of the National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health."

 

ABSTRACT

The National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health (NTTAC) supports the development and implementation of systems of care (SOC) for youth with serious emotional disorders (SED) and their families. This article presents results from a process evaluation of NTTAC, conducted to support the Center’s quality improvement and contribute to the knowledge base around provision of technical assistance (TA). The evaluation used a mixed methods approach with data collection focused on a defined subset of NTTAC TA recipients—recipients of federal Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children SOC grants. Data sources included coded administrative records from SOC grant sites, administrative data from NTTAC, standardized measures of SOC development, and stakeholder survey data. Results indicate that TA dosage matched needs and goals of TA recipients (SOC sites), overall levels of satisfaction with TA were high, and TA content was generally aligned with need. TA recipients reported significant progress on indicators of SOC development over time. Together, these findings suggest that it is possible to develop TA methods that reflect the level and type of TA recipients’ goals and needs, and, in turn, positively impact SOC development and behavioral health service delivery.

 

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