University at Albany
 

Capital Region Child and Adolescent Mobile Team Evaluation

CHSR conducted an outcome evaluation and cost-effectiveness study of a mobile team developed specifically to serve youth in behavioral, psychiatric or emotional distress in New York’s Capital Region.

The Child and Adolescent Mobile Team (CAMT) is one of the programs operated by Parsons Child & Family Center, the largest multi-services agency in New York's Capital Region dedicated to helping families and their children. CAMT began in 2007 to provide crisis assessment, intervention, and stabilization services to youth from 4 through 20 years of age residing in Albany, Rensselaer, and Schenectady Counties. CAMT is distinctive because of the youth focus of its interventions, and team members’ experience with children and family services as well as crisis intervention. Intervention by a CAMT is intended to prevent unnecessary psychiatric hospitalization, and facilitate implementation of safety plans that link children and families to community-based services.

Evaluation & Research

The evaluation study included a systematic summary of studies of mobile crisis services. CHSR identified and described model programs and crisis intervention components that have evidence to support their efficacy, and gauged the extent to which CAMT practices are consistent with best practices. Satisfaction survey data routinely collected by CAMT were analyzed by CHSR to identify possible areas for service delivery enhancement. CAMT’s client tracking system data were merged with data collected by CHSR from a representative sample of case files. CHSR staff investigated if interventions and outcomes differ across the three counties served, or for youth with different profiles of need. A cost effectiveness analysis demonstrated that CAMT is a cost-effective way to prevent hospitalizations compared to other responders, such as the police or ambulance services.

Program Development

CHSR staff developed a CAMT logic model.  The model is being used by managers of CAMT to guide decisions about potential changes to their data collection items and processes.  These changes, in turn, will improve their ability to monitor key program activities, evaluate client outcomes, and provide on-going cost-effectiveness estimates.  Findings from the evaluation have also been used by CAMT staff in applications for funding and awards.

Contact: Dr. Lynn Warner