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Evaluation of the Colorado Integrated System of Care Family Advocacy Demonstration Programs for Mental Health Juvenile Justice Populations

NCJ Number
Kerry Cataldo; Kevin Ford
Date Published
January 2009
42 pages
This first evaluation report on Colorado's three family advocacy demonstration programs describes the evaluation's research design and presents some initial client data on demographics, referral and enrollment information, diagnostic criteria, services received by families, and discharge data.
The family advocacy demonstration programs are for youth with mental health or co-occurring disorders who are already being processed in the juvenile justice system or are at-risk for such processing. When data become available, the evaluation will include an analysis of the use of services, youth and family outcomes, family and youth satisfaction with and assessment of family advocates, and process and leadership outcomes. Other outcomes measured may include the identification of savings achieved by the demonstration programs, the outcomes achieved, the transition services provided, and the service-use time frames. Data sources are discussed. As of mid-December 2008, 49 youths had been enrolled in the family advocacy demonstration program (urban = 20; suburban = 19; and rural = 10). The current report includes only 9 of the 20 urban/Denver cases. Data from the other cases will be presented in future reports. Eighteen youths are still participating in their family advocacy program (7 urban, 3 suburban, and 8 rural). Most of the youths in the programs are male. They range in age between 11 and 17 years old. Beyond assessments of risks and needs, the most common services provided have included case management, education, mental health counseling, and substance abuse treatment. The distribution of client ethnic origin apparently reflects the populations typical of the program locations. Just over two-thirds of the youth were identified as having six or more behavioral health risk factors in the areas of family, school, law/juvenile justice, and substance use/abuse. Future issues in the evaluation plan are discussed. 8 tables, 8 references, and appended evaluation data collection instruments