[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Peer family support specialists (FSS) are parents with practical experience in navigating children's mental health care systems who provide support, advocacy, and guidance to the families of children who need mental health services. Their experience and training differ from those of formally trained mental health clinicians, creating potential conflicts in priorities and values between FSS and clinicians. We hypothesized that these differences could negatively affect the organizational cultures and climates of mental health clinics that employ both FSS and mental health clinicians, and lower the job satisfaction and organizational commitment of FSS. The Organizational Social Context measure was administered on site to 209 FSS and clinicians in 21 mental health programs in New York State. The study compared the organizational-level culture and climate profiles of mental health clinics that employ both FSS and formally trained clinicians to national norms for child mental health clinics, assessed individual-level job satisfaction and organizational commitment as a function of job (FSS vs. clinician) and other individual-level and organizational-level characteristics, and tested whether FSS and clinicians job attitudes were differentially associated with organizational culture and climate. The programs organizational culture and climate profiles were not significantly different from national norms. Individual-level job satisfaction and organizational commitment were unrelated to position (FSS vs. clinician) or other individual-level and organizational-level characteristics except for culture and climate. Both FSS' and clinicians' individual-level work attitudes were associated similarly with organizational culture and climate.
Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 09/2013; 41(1). · 3.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The primary objective of the study was to assess whether the Availability, Responsiveness and Continuity (ARC) organizational intervention improved youth outcomes in community based mental health programs. The second objective was to assess whether programs with more improved organizational social contexts following the 18-month ARC intervention had better youth outcomes than programs with less improved social contexts.
Eighteen community mental health programs that serve youth between the ages of 5 and 18 were randomly assigned to ARC or control conditions. Clinicians (n = 154) in the participating programs completed the Organizational Social Context (OSC) measure at baseline and following the 18-month ARC organizational intervention. Caregivers of 393 youth who were served by the 18 programs (9 in ARC and 9 in control) completed the Shortform Assessment for Children (SAC) once a month for six months beginning at intake.
Hierarchical linear models (HLM) analyses indicated that youth outcomes were significantly better in the programs that completed the 18 month ARC intervention. HLM analyses also showed that youth outcomes were best in the programs with the most improved organizational social contexts following the 18 month ARC intervention.
Youth outcomes in community mental health programs can be improved with the ARC organizational intervention and outcomes are best in programs that make the most improvements in organizational social context. The relationships linking ARC, organizational social context, and youth outcomes suggest that service improvement efforts will be more successful if those efforts include strategies to improve the organizational social contexts in which the services are embedded.
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 05/2013; 52(5):493-500. · 6.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study: (1) provides the first assessment of the a priori measurement model and psychometric properties of the Organizational Social Context (OSC) measurement system in a US nationwide probability sample of child welfare systems; (2) illustrates the use of the OSC in constructing norm-based organizational culture and climate profiles for child welfare systems; and (3) estimates the association of child welfare system-level organizational culture and climate profiles with individual caseworker-level job satisfaction and organizational commitment.
The study applies confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and hierarchical linear models (HLM) analysis to a US nationwide sample of 1,740 caseworkers from 81 child welfare systems participating in the second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Wellbeing (NSCAW II). The participating child welfare systems were selected using a national probability procedure reflecting the number of children served by child welfare systems nationwide.
The a priori OSC measurement model is confirmed in this nationwide sample of child welfare systems. In addition, caseworker responses to the OSC scales generate acceptable to high scale reliabilities, moderate to high within-system agreement, and significant between-system differences. Caseworkers in the child welfare systems with the best organizational culture and climate profiles report higher levels of job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Organizational climates characterized by high engagement and functionality, and organizational cultures characterized by low rigidity are associated with the most positive work attitudes.
The OSC is the first valid and reliable measure of organizational culture and climate with US national norms for child welfare systems. The OSC provides a useful measure of Organizational Social Context for child welfare service improvement and implementation research efforts which include a focus on child welfare system culture and climate.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Treatment adherence, defined as the degree to which practitioners implemented prescribed program principles and activities and avoided proscribed activities, has been an area of growing interest in mental health services for children with severe emotional and behavioral disorders. This study evaluated the reliability and validity of a treatment adherence measure for child psychiatric rehabilitation (CPSR). Methods: Parents of children receiving CPSR (n = 79) or psychotherapy (n = 27) completed the Children's Psychosocial Rehabilitation Treatment Adherence Measure (CTAM) and a measure of 2-week session impact. Psychiatric rehabilitation (PSR) supervisors identified PSR practitioners with reputations for high or low adherence to the model. The CTAM's discriminant validity was assessed by using known-groups procedures and predictive validity by examining its relationship to 2-week session impact. Results: The CTAM demonstrated excellent internal consistency (α = .92), discriminant validity (p = .002, d = .72; p = .021, d = .59), and predictive validity (B = 2.24, SE = .31, p < .001), accounting for 28% of the child-level variance in 2-week session impact. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Findings suggest the CTAM is a reliable and valid measure of treatment adherence for CPSR programs with a skill-teaching focus. Providers and agencies should take steps to enhance treatment adherence because it may be an important predictor of children's short-term response to CPSR. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence-based Practice (EBP) implementation is likely to be most efficient and effective in organizations with positive social contexts (i.e., organizational culture, climate, and work attitudes of clinicians). The study objective was to test whether an organizational intervention labeled Availability, Responsiveness and Continuity (ARC) could improve the organizational social contexts of community-based mental health programs for youth.
The study randomly assigned 26 community-based mental health programs for youth to ARC or control conditions. The organizational cultures, climates, and work attitudes of clinicians (n = 197) in the programs were assessed with the Organizational Social Context (OSC) measure for mental health services at baseline and following the 18-month ARC intervention.
Hierarchical linear models (HLM) analyses indicated that organizational culture, climate, and work attitudes were significantly improved in the ARC condition after 18 months. Clinicians in programs assigned to ARC reported less rigid, less centralized and less apathetic organizational cultures, more engaged and functional organizational climates with less role conflict, and work attitudes with improved morale, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment.
ARC improved the organizational social contexts of clinicians in community-based mental health programs for youth. Results suggest that organizational intervention strategies can be used to create the types of organizational social contexts that are believed to be necessary for EBP implementation and other service innovations in mental health programs.
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 08/2012; 51(8):780-7. · 6.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examines the association of organizational climate, casework services, and youth outcomes in child welfare systems. Building on preliminary findings linking organizational climate to youth outcomes over a 3-year follow-up period, the current study extends the follow-up period to 7 years and tests main, moderating and mediating effects of organizational climate and casework services on outcomes.
The study applies hierarchical linear models (HLMs) analyses to all 5 waves of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW) with a US nationwide sample of 1,678 maltreated youth aged 4-16 years and 1,696 caseworkers from 88 child welfare systems. Organizational climate is assessed on 2 dimensions, Engagement and Stress, with scales from the well established measure, Organizational Social Context (OSC); youth outcomes are measured as problems in psychosocial functioning with the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL); and casework services are assessed with original scales developed for the study and completed by the maltreated youths' primary caregivers and caseworkers.
Maltreated youth served by child welfare systems with more engaged organizational climates have significantly better outcomes. Moreover, the quantity and quality of casework services neither mediate nor interact with the effects of organizational climate on youth outcomes.
Organizational climate is associated with youth outcomes in child welfare systems, but a better understanding is needed of the mechanisms that link organizational climate to outcomes. In addition, there is a need for evidence-based organizational interventions that can improve the organizational climates and effectiveness of child welfare systems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A randomized trial assessed the effectiveness of a 2-level strategy for implementing evidence-based mental health treatments for delinquent youth.
A 2 x 2 design encompassing 14 rural Appalachian counties included 2 factors: (a) the random assignment of delinquent youth within each county to a multisystemic therapy (MST) program or usual services and (b) the random assignment of counties to the ARC (for availability, responsiveness, and continuity) organizational intervention for implementing effective community-based mental health services. The design created 4 treatment conditions (MST plus ARC, MST only, ARC only, control). Outcome measures for 615 youth who were 69% male, 91% Caucasian, and aged 9-17 years included the Child Behavior Checklist and out-of-home placements.
A multilevel, mixed-effects, regression analysis of 6-month treatment outcomes found that youth total problem behavior in the MST plus ARC condition was at a nonclinical level and significantly lower than in other conditions. Total problem behavior was equivalent and at nonclinical levels in all conditions by the 18-month follow-up, but youth in the MST plus ARC condition entered out-of-home placements at a significantly lower rate (16%) than youth in the control condition (34%).
Two-level strategies that combine an organizational intervention such as ARC and an evidence-based treatment such as MST are promising approaches to implementing effective community-based mental health services. More research is needed to understand how such strategies can be used effectively in a variety of organizational contexts and with other types of evidence-based treatments.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 08/2010; 78(4):537-50. · 4.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study incorporates organizational theory and organizational characteristics in examining issues related to the successful implementation of mental health services. Following the theoretical foundations of socio-technical and cultural models of organizational effectiveness, organizational climate, culture, legal and service structures, and workforce characteristics are examined as correlates of therapist turnover and new program sustainability in a nationwide sample of mental health clinics. Results of General Linear Modeling (GLM) with the organization as the unit of analysis revealed that organizations with the best climates as measured by the Organizational Social Context (OSC) profiling system, had annual turnover rates (10%) that were less than half the rates found in organizations with the worst climates (22%). In addition, organizations with the best culture profiles sustained new treatment or service programs over twice as long (50 vs. 24 months) as organizations with the worst cultures. Finally, clinics with separate children's services units had higher turnover rates than clinics that served adults and children within the same unit. The findings suggest that strategies to support the implementation of new mental health treatments and services should attend to organizational culture and climate, and to the compatibility of organizational service structures with the demand characteristics of treatments.
Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 04/2008; 35(1-2):124-33. · 3.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The organizational social context in which mental health services are provided is believed to affect the adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) as well as the quality and outcomes of the services. A fully developed science of implementation effectiveness requires conceptual models that include organizational social context and tools for assessing social context that have been tested in a broad cross-section of mental health systems. This paper describes the role of organizational social context in services and implementation research and evaluates a comprehensive contextual measure, labeled Organizational Social Context (OSC), designed to assess the key latent constructs of culture, climate and work attitudes. The psychometric properties of the OSC measure were assessed in a nationwide study of 1,154 clinicians in 100 mental health clinics with a second-order confirmatory factor analysis of clinician responses, estimates of scale reliabilities, and indices of within-clinic agreement and between-clinic differences among clinicians. Finally, the paper illustrates the use of nationwide norms in describing the OSC profiles of individual mental health clinics and examines the cross-level association of organizational-level culture and climate with clinician-level work attitudes.
Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 04/2008; 35(1-2):98-113. · 3.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examines the effects of the Availability, Responsiveness, and Continuity (ARC) organizational intervention strategy on caseworker turnover, climate, and culture in a child welfare and juvenile justice system.
Using a pre-post, randomized blocks, true experimental design, 10 urban and 16 rural case management teams were randomly assigned to either the ARC organizational intervention condition or to a control condition. The culture and climate of each case management team were assessed at baseline and again after the one-year organizational intervention was completed. In addition, caseworker turnover was assessed by identifying caseworkers on the sampled teams who quit their jobs during the year.
Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM) analyses indicate that the ARC organizational intervention reduced the probability of caseworker turnover by two-thirds and improved organizational climate by reducing role conflict, role overload, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization in both urban and rural case management teams.
Organizational intervention strategies can be used to reduce staff turnover and improve organizational climates in urban and rural child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This is important because child welfare and juvenile justice systems in the U.S.A. are plagued by high turnover rates, and there is evidence that high staff turnover and poor organizational climates negatively affect service quality and outcomes in these systems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of organizational culture and climate on the access to mental health care for 588 children referred to child welfare and juvenile justice systems in 21 Tennessee urban and rural counties. Cross-level, hierarchical linear models (HLM) analyses indicated that children served by child welfare and juvenile justice case management units with constructive organizational cultures were more likely to receive the needed mental health care. For example, controlling for the child's need for mental health care and other child and family characteristics, the odds of a child receiving mental health care in a case management unit with the most constructive culture were 11 times the odds of receiving mental health care in a unit with the least constructive culture. Constructive cultures were characterized by organizational norms and expectations that case managers would be mutually supportive, develop their individual abilities, maintain positive interpersonal relationships, and be motivated to succeed. These findings suggest that efforts to improve access to mental health care for children referred to child welfare and juvenile systems should include the development of constructive organizational cultures in case management units responsible for the children's care.
Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 08/2006; 33(4):433-48. · 3.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: This longitudinal, prospective study examines the role of specialty mental health care as provided by community-based, usual-care practice settings in predicting out-of-home placements among children served by a child welfare and juvenile justice system. Method: The mental health needs of 1,249 children from 22 counties in Tennessee were assessed when the children were referred for child welfare and juvenile justice, in-home, case man- agement services. The outpatient specialty mental health care received by the children in the 6-month period fol- lowing the referral was recorded using the Service Assessment for Children and Adolescents and reimbursement records of TennCare. Children were then followed for 1.5 years to identify those who were subsequently placed in out-of-home care. Results: A majority of the children needed specialty mental health care, but most of these children did not receive it. This is important because their need was the best predictor of subsequent out-of-home placement. The odds of an out-of-home placement in the follow-up period were reduced by 36% to 40% for those children who received specialty mental health care. Conclusions: Improved systematic screening for mental health problems and access to specialty mental health care for children referred for in-home child welfare and juvenile justice case management services are promising strategies for reducing out-of-home placements.
Research on Social Work Practice 01/2006; 16(5):480-490. · 1.53 Impact Factor