Evidence-Based Associates (EBA) has worked with the District of Columbia since 2009 to help oversee the implementation of a variety of evidence-based programs for at-risk youth and their families.
Families First Project (with DBH) | Jan. 2011-present
In January 2011, in partnership with the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), Evidence-Based Associates (EBA) helped to lead an evidence-based practice initiative called “Families First.” As part of DBH’s multi-year plan, Families First will increase access to, and the quality of, evidence-based programs within the District’s public mental health system.
Additionally, Families First has expanded the array of proven-effective services along the continuum of care for children, youth and their families. Families First opens access to home-based, family-focused alternative treatments for children at risk of being removed from their homes due to their behavior, family unrest or parent-child conflicts. As part of this initiative, EBA provides pre-implementation, implementation and oversight management for local providers as they prepare to implement three evidence-based programs for the district’s most vulnerable youth and families. These programs include:
Children Up to Age 6
Child-Parent Psychotherapy for Family Violence (CPP-FV)
A relationship-based treatment for parents and young children that helps restore normal developmental functioning in the wake of violence and trauma.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
An empirically supported treatment for conduct-disordered young children that places emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns.
Children and Youth
Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA)
An evidence-based, developmentally-appropriate behavioral treatment for youth and young adults 12 to 24 years old with substance use disorders. A-CRA seeks to increase the family, social, and educational/vocational reinforcers to support recovery. Following the individual’s needs and self-assessment of happiness in multiple life areas, clinicians choose from a variety of procedures that address, for example, problem-solving skills to cope with day-to-day stressors, communication skills, and active participation in positive social and recreational activities with the goal of improving life satisfaction and eliminating alcohol and substance use problems.
Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
Highly successful family intervention for at-risk youth ages 10 to 18 whose problems range from acting out to conduct disorders to alcohol and/or substance abuse. This program has proven to help keep delinquent or violent adolescents from entering the adult criminal system.
Multisystemic Therapy (MST)
An intensive family -and community- based treatment program that focuses on the entire world of chronic and violent juvenile offenders – their homes and families, schools and teachers, neighborhoods and friends.
Multisystemic Therapy for Youth with Problem Sexual Behavior (MST-PSB)
Built on the foundation of standard MST, an intensive family – and community-based treatment program that focuses on the entire world of the offenders – their homes and families, schools and teachers, neighborhoods and friends, MST-PSB works with chronic and violent juvenile offenders who engage in criminal sexual behavior.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT)
A components-based model of psychotherapy that addresses the unique needs of children with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, depression, behavioral problems, and other difficulties related to traumatic life experiences.
Trauma Systems Therapy (TST)
A clinical and organizational model for treating childhood traumatic stress that addresses both the individual child’s emotional needs as well as the social environment in which he or she lives.
Young Adults Between 18 and 21 Years Old
Multisystemic Therapy for Emerging Adults (MST-EA)
Built on the foundation of standard MST, an intensive family -and community- based treatment program that focuses on the entire world of the offenders – their homes and families, schools and teachers, neighborhoods and friends, MST-EA focuses on reducing recidivism, and concurrently treating mental illness and any co-occurring substance use disorder, while increasing positive functioning in the critical areas of emerging adulthood.
Transition to Independent Process (TIP)
An evidence-supported practice based on published studies that demonstrate improvements in real-life outcomes for youth and young adults with emotional/behavioral difficulties (EBD). The TIP system prepares youth and young adults with EBD for their movement into adult roles through an individualized process, engaging them in their own futures planning process, as well as providing developmentally-appropriate services and supports.
Through the Families First project, EBA works with DBH Core Services Agencies (CSA), and oversees data collection, analysis and continuous quality improvement. The overall goals, objectives and deliverables of the project, include the following:
- Implement identified evidence-based programs
- Coordinate implementation and management of selected evidence-based programs
- Support and facilitate all aspects of communication between each evidence-based program training entity and the CSA
- Oversee training including on-site follow-up and support
- Develop evidence-programs that place emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns for the early childhood population
- Assist CSAs in developing budgetary/financial due diligence to ensure funding and reimbursement plan will be adequate to sustain program implementation
- Facilitate the development of adequate staffing plans to support each specific evidence-based program and recruitment of qualified programs and staff
- Develop referral processes and procedures for each specific evidence-based program in conjunction with DBH
- Coordinate and host an evidence-based program conference for district professionals serving at-risk children, youth and their families
- Families First: Restoring families through proven, family-centered programs and remaining committed to keeping families together
At the heart of the Families First project is a commitment to keep families together and prevent children from being sent to out-of-home placements. Through intensive and extensive training, Families First will work closely with DBH’s choice provider therapists to strengthen their knowledge of the newly introduced evidence-based treatment models – models that continually demonstrate positive results for troubled children when implemented correctly. Counselors will apply these research-proven model practices to empower families by promoting stronger relationships with their children and increasing communication through skills such as problem-solving and better decision-making. One of EBA’s core strengths is ensuring providers implement evidence-based programs with fidelity and rigor.
Families First is a multi-year project that began in January 2011.