Evaluation of Systems Reform in the Annie E. Casey Foundation Mental Health Initiative for Urban Children: Final Evaluation Report

Annie E. Casey Foundation



Case Study Sector


In 1993, the Annie E. Casey Foundation launched the Mental Health Initiative for Urban Children (MHI). The overall goal of this five-year, neighborhood-scale program was to improve community mental health services to achieve positive outcomes for children, and, in the long run, avoid significant public expenditures. Specifically, the MHI sought to demonstrate new ways of delivering culturally appropriate, family-sensitive mental health services to children in high poverty, urban communities, and to work with states to improve the policies and practices supporting these services. Four states—Florida, Massachusetts, Texas, and Virginia—were awarded $3 million grants over a four year period to implement their plans from 1994-1998.
The general evaluation strategy was a process oriented, formative evaluation designed to answer a series of significant questions regarding implementation. The evaluation did not focus on documenting outcomes, but rather on understanding changes that took place in the implementation process. The findings of the evaluation are the subject of a three-volume set of reports, one for each implementation area, plus an additional Executive Summary report that will provide an abbreviated discussion of the longer pieces. The present report covers the findings related to Systems Reform.



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