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CFS Selected as a Partner of the New Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Behavioral Health (TA Network)

In addition to The Institute, the TA Network core partners include (in alphabetical order):

  • Accountability Solutions, Inc., led by Kelly Hyde;
  • The Center for Community Learning, Inc., led by Myriam Monsalve Serna and colleagues;
  • The Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc., including Kamala Allen, Dayana Simons, and colleagues;
  • The Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA);
  • Human Service Collaborative, including Sheila Pires, Ira Lourie and Cliff Davis;
  • The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, led by Sandra Spencer;
  • Portland State University, including Janet Walker, Nancy Koroloff, and Susan Richardson, which hosts the National Wraparound Initiative (NWI), Pathways2Success, and Reclaiming Futures programs;
  • The University of South Florida, College of Community and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Child and Family Studies, led by Mario Hernandez, and his colleagues, Mary Armstrong, Kathy Lazear, and others;
  • The University of Washington, including Eric Bruns, which co-hosts the NWI and hosts the Wraparound Evaluation & Research Team; and
  • Youth M.O.V.E. (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience) National, led by Lacy Kendrick Burk.

The Department of Child & Family Studies (CFS) at University of South Florida has been selected as a member of the Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Behavioral Health (TA Network), the new national center for states and communities funded by the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program (Children’s Mental Health Initiative or CMHI).

The CMHI program is an initiative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Child, Adolescent and Family Branch (CAFB) that supports communities in their efforts to expand and sustain community-based systems of care for children, youth and young adults (birth-21) with behavioral health needs and their families.

Under the lead of the Institute for Innovation and Implementation (The Institute) at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work, CFS faculty and staff including Project Director/Co-PI Katherine Lazear and PI Mario Hernandez will support the CMHI grantees as they work to ensure the hallmarks of systems of care – a coordinated network of services and supports that is family-driven, youth-guided, culturally and linguistically competent, and data-driven – are in place. Additional CFS faculty and staff will serve as consultants and experts and provide support in areas including IT, web support, graphic design, video, and other subject matter such as school based mental health, early childhood, and child welfare.

CFS, in partnership with the Center for Community Learning, Inc. in Miami, will be the Cultural and Linguistic Hub of the TA Network. Working with the diverse selection of systems of care communities throughout the United States, including urban, rural, Tribal and non-English speaking communities, they will provide information, training and technical assistance, and evaluation consultation about cultural and linguistic competence. In addition, Branch staff and partners across the TA Network will also receive the training and technical assistance.

“This is an incredible opportunity for USF to become part of improving the nation's child & behavioral health service system,” said Dr. Mario Hernandez. “This couldn't have happened at a more timely moment in our country's history with the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act. We look forward to helping communities align their service delivery strategies to system of care values and principles and connecting those in need to additional resources that can enhance their efforts.”

“We are committed to delivering field-driven, data-informed, and culturally responsive technical assistance,” said Michelle Zabel, TA Network Project Director at the University of Maryland. “Our approach will incorporate flexibility and strive to deliver expertise tailored to the specific needs of States and communities within a rapidly changing and increasingly sophisticated climate driven by health reform, technological advances and other major shifts affecting children, youth and families.”

“This partnership is a true network of the leading implementation experts both nationally and internationally in the field of children’s behavioral health and system of care work, and we have many of those individuals here at CFS,” said Kathy Lazear. “Further, the TA Network model also maximizes the value of lived experience and peer-to-peer support and leverages this wealth of knowledge strategically. The TA Network approach seeks to leave grantees with internal capacity, such as Centers of Excellence, to continue to propel their Systems of Care forward after CMHI funding ends.”

Nearly $1.4 million in funds has been allocated to CFS over a period of five years. The first year will be funded at this point in time. For additional information, contact Kathy Lazear.

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