School Violence Prevention and Intervention
Schools and Special Education
Functional Behavioral Assessment
Prevention Strategies that Work
Prevention and Early Intervention
Promising Practice in Children's Mental Health
Strengthening the Safety Net
Improving School Results Through Coordinated Services
Children and youth with disabilities frequently have many needs. There is a growing consensus that the coordinated efforts of various agencies and professionals are necessary to address these needs effectively. The resources of any one service system (such as education, social services, health, or mental health) are simply insufficient to address the large, complex problems faced by many children with disabilities.
For some children, for example, multiple services are needed because they have multiple problems. A child with school attendance and performance problems also may be nutritionally deficient, medically underserved, or living within a single-parent family in which the mother works two jobs in a neighborhood beset with drug problems (Morrill, 1992). A single service system (education, for example) lacks the capacity to solve such multiple problems. Hence, partnerships among service providers are necessary.
Multiple service systems, however, will not be effective, if they are not coordinated and individualized to address the needs of each child. Without the careful coordination of services, there will be gaps, duplications, and other inefficiencies that inflate human and monetary costs. Through combining and coordinating the efforts of agencies and professionals, collaborative initiatives have significantly improved the quality of services that children and families receive, as well as the outcomes of those services.
Cleveland's Connections Initiative is an example of a successful integrated services program. By combining the efforts of the County Community Mental Health Board, the County Board of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities, the County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board, the Ohio Department of Youth Services, the County Juvenile Court, the public schools, and the County Department of Children and Family Services, this system has been successful in bringing about significant improvements in children's level of functioning. Data show that Connections has resulted in an 81.8 percent reduction in suicidal gestures, a 69.5 percent increase in passing grades, and a 63.8 percent decrease in truant school days for children with serious emotional disturbance (Stroul, 1993).
Morrill, W.A. (1992). Overview of service delivery to children. The future of children: School linked services, 2(1), 32-43.
Stroul, B. (1993). Systems of care for children and adolescents with severe emotional disturbances: What are the results? Washington, DC: Georgetown University Child Development Center, CASSP Technical Assistance Center.
|© 2001 The CECP is part of the American Institutes for Research (AIR), and is funded under a cooperative agreement with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education (ED), with supplemental funding from the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).|