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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    House Document No. 9
    PUBLICATION YEAR 2003

    Document Title
    Collection of Evidence-Based Treatment Modalities for Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Treatment Needs

    Author
    Virginia Commission on Youth

    Enabling Authority
    SJR 99 (Regular Session, 2002)

    Executive Summary
    The 2002 General Assembly, through Senate Joint Resolution 99 (SJR 99) directed the Virginia Commission on Youth to coordinate the collection and dissemination of empirically-based information that would identify the treatment modalities and practices recognized as effective for the treatment of children, including juvenile offenders, with mental health treatment needs, symptoms and disorders. This initiative originated from recommendations made to the 2002 General Assembly by the Virginia Commission on Youth as part of a two-year study of Children and Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbance Requiring Out-of-Home Placement and by the Joint Committee Studying Treatment Options for Offenders with Mental Illness or Substance Abuse Disorders (House Document 23, Senate Document 25, respectively).

    Nationally and in Virginia, there has been an increase in attention to children's mental health and the development of systems of care for children with serious emotional disorders. Family members, practitioners, and researchers have become increasingly aware of the fact that mental health services are an important and necessary support for young children and their families who experience mental, emotional, or behavioral challenges.

    Each year the Commonwealth of Virginia and its localities, through the Comprehensive Services Act for At-Risk Youth and Families (CSA), spend millions of dollars to purchase services to address the emotional and behavioral problems of children and adolescents in Virginia; however, there is no system in place to measure the quality or effectiveness of care received by these children and adolescents with serious emotional disorders.

    This study provides a collection of empirically sound research on the treatment modalities and practices that have proven most effective for children and adolescents with mental health treatment needs, symptoms and disorders. Additionally, this study seeks to benefit professionals, communities, parents, and other entities or individuals working with children with mental health treatment needs, symptoms and disorders by providing them with a collection of research on evidence-based treatment modalities. The information contained herein is strictly for informational purposes only and is not designed to replace the advice and counsel of a physician or mental health provider. The Commission on Youth makes no representations regarding the suitability of the information contained herein for any purpose.

    The following recommendations are offered to further the effort of encouraging the use of effective treatment modalities in serving children and youth in Virginia.

    OWNERSHIP AND UPKEEP
    Recommendation 1
    Direct the Commission on Youth or its successor, with assistance from the SJR 99 Advisory Group, the 'Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the Secretary of Public Safety and the Secretary of Education, to maintain, update, and make available through web technologies information on treatment modalities and practices recognized as effective for the treatment of children, including juvenile offenders, with mental health treatment needs, symptoms and disorders pursuant to SJR 99. This information shall be updated biennially. (*1)

    DISSEMINATION
    Recommendation 2
    That empirically-based information on effective treatment modalities for children with mental health treatment needs, including juvenile offenders, is made available through web technologies to consumers, family members, advocates, mental health professionals, treatment providers, state and local service providers, as well as state and local policy makers and other interested stakeholders. All agencies in the Secretariat of Health and Human Resources that deliver services to children, as well as the Department of Education and the Department of Juvenile Justice, shall post this collection of empirically-based information to their web sites. Dissemination methods should be as efficient and cost-effective as possible in order to facilitate access to this information. (*2)

    ENCOURAGING USE OF EVIDENCE-BASED TREATMENTS
    Recommendation 3
    Request that the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, as well as the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Education, encourage the use of evidence-based treatment modalities and practices recognized as effective for the treatment of children, including juvenile offenders, with mental health treatment needs, symptoms and disorders. (*3)
    ____________________________________
    (*1) Recommendation 1 will be introduced during the 2003 General Assembly as a Joint Study Resolution.
    (*2) The Commission on Youth, pursuant to SJR 99, is charged with dissemination during the first year, 2003. Recommendation 2 will be introduced during the 2003 General Assembly Session through a Joint Study Resolution.
    (*3) The Commission on Youth will send letters to the affected agencies encouraging the use of evidence-based treatments.