ICF International was awarded a contract to design and implement a multimethod cross-site evaluation of the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI). The NCTSI seeks to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families, and communities throughout the United States. To meet this mission, in 2001 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a national network of centers specializing in trauma-related treatments and service delivery. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the impact of the NCTSN on access to care and quality of care for children exposed to trauma and to assess the extent to which the NCTSN identifies, disseminates, and evaluates treatments and service models designed to address trauma-related disorders.
The goals of this evaluation are to describe the children and families served by the NCTSN and their outcomes; assess the development, adoption, and implementation of effective trauma-informed evidence-based treatments and services; evaluate trainings, collaboration, and program sustainability; and assess the Network's broader impact beyond the NCTSN. The design includes four study components, built on an existing management and evaluation infrastructure, and involves center- and ICF-directed longitudinal data collection efforts; uses multiple modes of data gathering, including Web-enabled surveying; and includes consumer and service provider respondent participation and evaluation training and technical assistance to more than 64 grantees to support local evaluation participation.
In addition, ICF designed, developed, and implemented for this evaluation a comprehensive Web-based data center, NICON, that combines secure data collection methods, including Web-based forms, and supports online real-time reporting and secure real-time dissemination methods in various formats. On this project, ICF’s data management and analysis team manage multiple datasets and ensure the quality and security of data through an efficient and rigorous quality assurance process to obtain meaningful information that accurately reflects program efforts and outcomes. They have expertise in various statistical methods and use statistical software packages such as SAS, SPSS, and STATA. The findings from the various studies are customized for diverse audiences such as program stakeholders, SAMHSA, Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), and other audiences and disseminated through newsletters, evaluation briefs, annual reports, manuscripts, and PowerPoint slides.
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