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Differences in Outcome Trajectories of Children in Residential Treatment

NCJ Number
Residential Treatment for Children & Youth Volume: 22 Issue: 4 Dated: 2005 Pages: 67-79
Jena Helgerson B.S.; Zoran Martinovich Ph.D.; Elizabeth Durkin Ph.D.; John S. Lyons Ph.D.
Date Published
13 pages
This study compared the outcomes for children with mental health issues who were involved in residential treatment across Illinois.
The results show that across facilities the children's level of functioning improved over the course of residential treatment. All but one facility demonstrated an improvement in functioning for residents; however, there was significant variation in the degree of improvement among facilities. The authors caution that a simple finding of change in functioning is limited, because it does not allow for a more complete examination of the difference in outcomes across the facilities. Current analyses did not provide explanations for differences in outcomes among facilities. Study data were collected from the Residential Treatment Outcomes System (RTOS), an Internet-based system designed for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in order to monitor treatment outcomes for wards of the State in residential care. The Web site data derived from quarterly clinical assessments completed for each ward and uploaded to the secure RTOS Web site. Sixty-six residential treatment facilities were included in the data analysis, which pertained to 2,160 treatment trajectories for children who were enrolled in residential treatment between February 2001 and August 2004. The clinical measure used in the outcome assessment was the Child Functional Assessment Rating Scale (CFARS), which measures the functional and psychiatric status of children ages 7-18. The CFARS evaluates children across 16 domains, using both descriptive phrases and severity ratings. 2 tables and 29 references