The paper is based on a multi-year study with child welfare agencies in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Missouri and North Carolina that used an automated behavioral health assessment system, Polaris-CW, to determine a youth’s needs and strengths by collecting data from multiple stakeholders, including the youth and caregivers.
The results of the study strongly suggest that incorporating the voice of youth can have a positive impact on how they react to and engage in planning their care, and minimize the feelings of isolation and frustration often expressed by those in the child welfare system, particularly minorities.
The paper also discusses the positive role technology can play in guiding case planning by identifying behavioral health conditions and predicting outcomes among abused and neglected youth. It calls for a cultural shift to encourage child welfare agencies to perceive the collection of assessment data as “business as usual.”
“Are Two Voices Better Than One? Predicting Permanency in Minority Youth Using Multi-informant Mental Health and Strength Data” was written by Polaris staff, Dr. Linda Toche-Manley, Laura Dietzen and Jesse Nankin in collaboration with Dr. Astrid Beigel, of Los Angeles County’s Department of Mental Health.
Polaris-CW supports service planning and treatment monitoring by helping caseworkers assess strengths and the impact of trauma and abuse on behavioral health. Following a rigorous review of its measures and scientific foundation, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development funded its development.
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About Polaris Health Directions
At Polaris, we recognize that organizations cannot manage what they do not measure. Many behavioral health care providers and payers may not be collecting and analyzing enough of the right data to answer basic questions about the cost-effectiveness of the care they offer. Polaris's advanced technology and science driven assessment systems are designed to capture the clinical data essential to quality improvement and enhanced organizational management. Polaris solutions provide advanced analytics to help you improve and demonstrate to your customers the value of your care. With a focus on prediction, Polaris solutions do more than describe clinical change. Our systems also indicate if treatment is likely to have a positive result. Helping you make better decisions in the present by anticipating the future will be the difference in reducing your costs while improving patient care.