University at Albany
 

Coordinated Children’s Service Initiative Evaluation

The Coordinated Children’s Service Initiative (CCSI) began in the 1990s as a multi-agency approach to reduce out-of-home placements of children with emotional disabilities by creating locally coordinated systems of care. CHSR conducted an implementation and outcome study of CCSI in 1998.

CCSI was based on the belief that there had been an over-reliance on out-of-home residential placements, the most restrictive and expensive form of treatment. Instead, CCSI was designed to promote community-based alternatives that support the care of children in families and family-like settings.

Evaluation & Research

The CCSI study consisted of a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. For the qualitative component, CHSR conducted on-site structured interviews with participants in eight counties that implemented CCSI in its earliest stages. In the quantitative component, we analyzed placement data from the child welfare, education, juvenile justice, and mental health residential placement systems. We compared CCSI counties with non-CCSI counties and examined changes in placements over time, changes in placements by service system, and the potential cost savings of averted placements. The study culminated in a report to the New York State Council on Children and Families that described CCSI’s strengths and challenges, provided some evidence that CCSI contributed to declines in out-of-home placements for participating children, and offered a series of recommendations to guide future practice.

Contact: Rose Greene