Thank you for your comment and feedback as well as interest in our program. To answer your question we are currently working with Chapin Hall to evaluate the outcomes of our program and we are looking at several factors:
Decrease in child mental health and trauma symptoms measured by the Treatment Outcome Package (TOP)
Achievement of benchmarks as identified by school, family, and provider
Improvement of family relationships/functioning/stability as measured by the Protective Factors Survey (PFS).
Furthermore, I've add additional information below related to the impact we've seen thus far since Connections launched in January of 2015.
Project Harmony’s connections program served 1,000 children and youth, grades K-8, in 2015. These are children and youth who otherwise would not have received mental health services, but would have struggled socially, emotionally, and academically. Through Connections, Project Harmony trained 100 community mental health providers in evidence based practices, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Child Parent Psychotherapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools. Not only does this increase knowledge and skill in treating childhood trauma, it increases capacity in the community as these are providers who treat 20-25 children each week – which includes children referred by individuals and programs other than Connections.
Connections has placed community mental health providers in some schools to help improve access for children whose parents may be unable to drive them to therapy sessions. School Principals report that without school-based providers, children would not receive the mental health or trauma treatment they need. They are grateful to Connections for coordinating school-based mental health treatment. Connections has coordinated Circle of Security parenting groups at the Learning Community Center of North Omaha. After attending the sessions, parents have asked for mental health therapy for themselves. Case managers have noted that the groups reduce stigma and provide a gateway to accessing mental health treatment for children and their parents. Because of the success of the Connections program, school districts around the state have asked that the program be expanded to their areas. Also, we have been asked to expand the program to other populations, e.g., juvenile justice populations, older youth, pre-school children, etc.