This project is an evaluation of Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence (PFE), a model that seeks to improve the well-being of children and families in contact with the child welfare system and reduce the need for higher end behavioral services through a more trauma-informed community, which can result in reduces in behavioral healthcare expenditures.
PFE redesigns the local child welfare/behavioral health system, changing the way local Departments of Social Services, managed care organizations, local providers, and the wider community understand trauma and the need for accessible, appropriate mental health services for children, youth and families who have experienced potentially traumatic events. PFE aims to lead communities to an understanding of the importance of trauma-informed and trauma-responsive communities, to create a lasting change in the identification and treatment of trauma within the community.
This project evaluates the effects of PFE on services and outcomes for children involved in the child welfare system in five NC counties. Using an interrupted time series design with comparison groups, we examine the effectiveness of PFE in providing proactive mental health assessment and treatment to improve behavioral health outcomes, reduce use of high-end services, and lower cost over time.