Program Evaluation and Research

Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, 1999, discussed the state of mental health care in the United States, and the range of treatments which currently exist. Chapter 3, Children and Mental Health, includes a section on treatment interventions and discussed their effectiveness. In a section on Home-Based services, HOMEBUILDERS is cited as one of the programs with a strong record of effectiveness. The following is an excerpt from Chapter 3.

"Family Preservation Programs Under the Child Welfare System
Within the child welfare system, particularly effective family reunification programs were the HOMEBUILDERS Program in Tacoma, Washington, which was designed to reunify abused and neglected children with their families by providing family-based services (Fraser et al., 1996), and the family reunification programs in Washington State and in Utah (Pecora et al., 1991). Studies suggested that 75 to 90 percent of the children and adolescents who participated in such programs subsequently did not require placement outside the home. The youths' verbal and physical aggression decreased, and cost of services was reduced (Hinckley & Ellis, 1985). The success of these family preservation programs is based on the following: services are delivered in a home and community setting; family members are viewed as colleagues in defining a service plan; back-up services are available 24 hours a day; skills are built according to the individual needs of family members; marital and family interventions are offered; community services are efficiently coordinated; and assistance with basic needs such as food, housing, and clothing is given (Fraser et al., 1997)."

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