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UAlbany's Center for Human Services Research Evaluates Mental Health Care System
A $1.2 million federal grant funds evaluation of support services in Orange County

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 26, 2008) -- The University at Albany's Center for Human Services Research (CHSR) was awarded a $1.2 million grant to evaluate the Orange County (N.Y.) System of Care initiative. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant will fund the School of Social Welfare Center's assessment of support services that address the mental health needs of children and their families.
 
"The evaluative research of the School's Center for Human Services Research is having a profound impact in helping vulnerable populations and the systems that serve them," said School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson. "The key is our Center's partnership with public and nonprofit service providers, like Orange County, to develop, evaluate and refine model practices. This significant grant will expand our School's scope of research and its role in fostering major innovations in service integration addressing the mental health needs of children and their families."
 
A System of Care is a coordinated network of community based services and supports that are organized to meet the challenges of children and youth with serious mental health needs, and their families. Families and youth work in partnership with public and private organizations to design mental health services and supports that are effective, that build on the strengths of individuals, and that address each person's cultural and linguistic needs.
 
LuAnn McCormick, CHSR senior research scientist and a School of Social Welfare assistant research professor, is the project's principal investigator. For the past four years, McCormick has acted as principal investigator on a grants evaluating the SAMHSA-supported System of Care for children's mental health in Albany County. 
 
"In keeping with the principles of a System of Care, the Center for Human Services Research will engage many stakeholder groups, including families and youth, to inform our evaluation and guide policy and practice," said McCormick. "CHSR is pleased to be part of this important initiative to improve the lives of children and families."
 
About the School of Social Welfare
The mission of the University at Albany School of Social Welfare is to further social and economic justice and to serve people who are vulnerable, marginalized, or oppressed. This mission is implemented through education, knowledge development, and service that promotes leadership for evidence-based social work with a global perspective. The Center for Human Services Research is dedicated to developing empirically-based knowledge in order to improve the design and delivery of services that address social issues and meet community needs. The Center conducts evaluation and intervention research and designs information systems to inform policymakers and service providers across a broad spectrum of fields.

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