Partnering for Success
Cohort 1 Implementation Sites Descriptions

Site 2: Maine

Experience with Evidence-Based Practices

The State of Maine’s Office of Child and Family Services / Children’s Behavioral Health Services  (OCFS/CBHS) has pursued the common elements model of treatment for the mental health needs of child welfare involved children and youth for several years. OCFS/CBHS has led a multi-year initiative to implement EBPs for the most common behavioral health challenges faced by youth and families in Maine. In 2006 OCFS/CBHS developed a small workgroup to develop policies, processes, and resources to effectively address the mental health needs of child welfare involved young people. Key partners were the Department of Corrections (DOC), the Office of MaineCare Services (OMS), and the Department of Education (DOE).The specific EBPs that OCFS/CBHS has targeted include Multisystemic Therapy (MST), Functional Family Therapy (FFT), Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO), Trauma Focused CBT (TF-CBT), and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).  

The EBP related change efforts have included focused and routinized actions to implement the unique processes necessary to sustain each EBP. Specifically, OCFS convened and led a rate setting workgroup that included OMS, DOC, MST Services, and the initial three MST provider agencies. The workgroup delineated the specific processes necessary to both maintain fidelity to the EBP and address outcomes for youth and families. A rate sheet was developed which funded those processes and structures. 

Applying EBP Experiences and Related Capabilities into the Implementation of Partnering for Success

Maine brings germane expertise and skills to the implementation of Partnering for Success. OCFS has overcome the common structural separation of child welfare and behavioral health by integrating both functions in one agency. Consequently, achieving a working collaboration between OCFS child welfare and children's behavior health professionals under the auspices of the model should be relatively smooth since personnel currently collaborate on a daily basis on a number of joint projects. In addition to many years of experience in implementing and sustaining EBPs for the most important public mental health problems of youth, OCFS has maintained active, vigorous, transparent, and collaborative relationships with relevant partners required for effective EBP implementation. 

OCFS has also gained an understanding of the key processes necessary for appropriate screening, assessment, referral, EBP implementation, and maintenance/CQI of EBPs once they are implemented. OCFS’s unique Quality Assurance (QA) program and structure allows it to track important data on a district and state level. QA staff are placed in each of the eight district offices. QA staff are able to access a multitude of data, reports, case narrative, interviews and literature in order to produce regional reports that can inform system change initiatives. Partnering for Success will allow the QA staff to monitor data on the mental health needs of and services provided to child welfare involved young people. 

OCFS and DOC hold semi-annual Program Implementation Data Report (PIDR) meetings with all four MST providers. One way that OCFS uses PIDR data and associated feedback mechanism is to require that providers maintain adherence to the MST fidelity/outcomes standards (and promptly remediate any substandard performance via agreed upon action plans) in order to continue receiving the MST rate. 

OCFS and its partners ability invoke their extensive working knowledge of a common elements approach to serving the behavioral health needs of the vast majority of child welfare involved young people and of the associated training, consultation, and fidelity/outcomes measurement requirements will serve as an effective foundation to implement Partnering for Success