CHDI NEWSLETTER
November 2019
We hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

CHDI is thankful for our many partners and supporters dedicated to improving the lives of children and families.
Connecticut Mirror Article Highlights Benefits of Evidence-Based Treatments for Children's Mental Health
A Connecticut Mirror article, " Black, Latino children do better with evidence-based therapy than talk therapy , " highlights ways evidence-based mental health treatments (EBTs) are improving outcomes and reducing disparities for children of color.

The article draws from a recent CHDI Issue Brief and data analysis of 46,729 children, which showed EBTs improved outcomes and reduced or eliminated disparities in outcomes compared to usual care. 
CHDI has partnered with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families to disseminate several EBTs in outpatient behavioral health clinics and schools as a key component of improving access to high-quality children’s behavioral health services statewide. Since 2007, more than 1,500 clinicians have been trained and more than 14,000 children have received one of these EBTs.

Learn more in CHDI's Issue Brief 71: Better than Usual (Care): EBTs Improve Outcomes and Reduce Disparities for Children of Color.
Four Grants Awarded to Advance Innovations in Children's Health and Mental Health
CHDI awarded $125,000 in grants to fund four initiatives . The funded projects advance recommendations from recent reports on emergency department use by youth with behavioral health needs and the role of pediatric primary care in promoting population health .

  • Selected initiatives led by Connecticut Children's Medical Center Foundation and Yale New Haven Hospital will test innovative, scalable, evidence-informed strategies for improving emergency departments’ response to youth with behavioral health conditions.

  • Selected initiatives led by Rocky Hill Pediatrics and Southwest Community Health Center will explore the feasibility of delivering services in pediatric primary care that could support health promotion and population health and are not currently paid for by Medicaid or commercial insurance.

The grants are funded by the Children’s Fund of Connecticut and the Connecticut Health Foundation, and are administered by CHDI.
Project AWARE: Addressing Students' Trauma and Mental Health Needs Using a Comprehensive Approach
Three Connecticut school districts are working to provide students with a full range of behavioral health and trauma supports through Connecticut’s Project AWARE initiative. The effort is funded through a federal SAMHSA grant awarded to the State Department of Education, and developed in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families and CHDI. Over the next four years, CHDI will help Middletown, Naugatuck, and Windham school districts to provide evidence-based trauma treatments ( CBITS and Bounce Back) to students; as well as assist with training, evaluation, and school mental health assessment through the SHAPE System .

T he core elements of Project AWARE include programming to promote social emotional development among all students, activities to strengthen school-family-community connections related to student well-being, training to increase staff knowledge of mental health risk factors, screening strategies to identify trauma and behavioral health concerns as early as possible, connections for students in need to effective treatment resources, and use of data to drive decision making and prioritization of resources. The grant provides Connecticut with an opportunity to apply the model for a trauma-informed multi-tiered system of supports for school mental health laid out in CHDI’s IMPACT: Healthy Student’s and Thriving Schools in the three Project AWARE districts. 
A Focus on Family Support and Prevention for Connecticut
A new federal law, the Family First Prevention Services Act (“Family First”), offers states funding opportunities to strengthen families and improve the well-being of children. The act allows for federal reimbursement to prevent foster care placement by addressing the needs of children and their caregivers in areas such as family strengthening, parenting skills, mental health, and substance abuse. Family First also focuses significantly on the implementation of evidence-based treatments in each of these areas . CHDI’s President and CEO, Jeffrey Vanderploeg will assist the Connecticut Department of Children and Families in developing the required state prevention plan by co-chairing a workgroup and contributing his expertise throughout the plan development process. If the state’s plan is approved by the federal government, it will set the stage for Connecticut to fully implement Family First beginning October 1, 2020. Learn more.
Introduction to Children's System of Care: Free Webinar on December 4
What is a Children's System of Care and why it is important? CHDI and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families are leading a free webinar at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, December 4th to provide community members, policymakers, organizations, and parents with a better understanding of how a "system of care" can provide a comprehensive spectrum of behavioral health and other necessary services in a coordinated network to meet the multiple and changing needs of children, youth, and their families. Connecticut is one of several states developing a system of care with funding from SAMHSA for the CONNECTing Families to Care initiative. The webinar is hosted by the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network. Registration deadline is December 3.
Connecticut’s Work to Address Child Trauma Featured at International Conference
The Connecticut Department of Children and Families, CHDI and other community-based providers have disseminated and sustained trauma-focused evidence-based treatments (EBTs) across the state for the past 12 years. CHDI's Jason Lang shared Connecticut's expertise about screening children exposed to trauma and sustaining EBTs at the International Society for Traumat ic Stress Studies (ISTSS) annual conference in Boston. Lang has served as an expert in the state and is a co-developer of the Child Trauma Screen (CTS) . The CTS is a free screening tool used to identify children that are experiencing high levels of distress and may need help to overcome trauma exposure. CTS has been validated by behavioral health providers, pediatricians, child welfare workers, and juvenile justice staff and has been shown to possess good to excellent psychometric properties .
Join the Team: CHDI is Hiring!
CHDI is looking to expand our team. We are seeking candidates with the education, experience, and dedication to contribute to effective policies, systems, and practices that improve children's health and well-being. 

CHDI is currently hiring for the following positions: 



CHDI is committed to providing equal access to our employment environment and ensures that all employment-related decisions are in accord with the principles of equal opportunity.
Child Health and Development Institute
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