Evaluation Team Principal Investigator: Rinad Beidas, PhD 

The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services (DBHIDS) in collaboration with the Penn Center for Youth and Family Trauma Response and Recovery (CYFTRR) at Pennsylvania Hospital’s Hall-Mercer Community Mental Health Center was awarded a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), Community Treatment and services (CTS) grant (SM61087) to develop a trauma-informed and trauma-focused system for young people and their families in Philadelphia.

The Center, named the Philadelphia Alliance for Child Trauma Services (PACTS) , will function as a consortium of child and adolescent behavioral health providers, pediatric and other child serving agencies that see young people who may be traumatized.  PACTS will be responsible for the implementation of trauma-focused evidence-based practices (EBP) and for increasing screening and assessment of children in a variety of physical and behavioral health care settings. The impact of PACTS will be evaluated in collaboration with an evaluation team at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research (CMHPSR) to collect and provide data and outcomes to providers expeditiously as required by SAMHSA. This mixed-methods study uses a pre-post design. We will investigate the effectiveness of providing trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT). The study will include community therapists who provide mental health treatment services to uninsured and Medicaid-eligible children and families as well as children and families receiving those services in the city of Philadelphia. Within 13 agencies, we will gather data from all participating therapists (N = 100), and youth and families receiving treatment (N = 100). Data will be collected prior to treatment, at discharge, and 6-months after baseline. Quantitative data will include measures of general child functioning and symptoms. We will also gather information about clinician attitudes towards evidence-based practices. Qualitative data will include semi-structured interviews with a subset of the sample around the implementation experience. Findings from the proposed research will inform national roll-outs of trauma-informed care and provide information on whether the implementation of these evidence-based practices improves youth outcomes.