An Evaluation of the Northwest County Collaborative: Our Children Succeed Initiative.
University of Minnesota. Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare.
Minn-LInK (Minnesota-Linking Information for Kids)
, No. 14
This policy brief shares findings from a study that examined the associated effect of Minnesota's Our Children Succeed Initiative (OSCI) as it relates to children's educational outcomes and out-of-home placement experiences. It begins by explaining the OSCI was implemented in a collaborative of six counties in Northwest Minnesota and parallels identified goals of the system of care model, which are to increase coordinated and comprehensive delivery of children's mental health services in a family-driven, youth-focused and culturally competent way. Through Minn-LInK, children's education records (MDE Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System [MARSS] and Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment [MCA-II]) were linked to human service records (DHS Social Service Information System [SSIS]), and OCSI records to create five groups for the purposes of this study: Group 1: NW Counties' children's mental health (CMH, n=767), Group 2: NW Counties' out-of-home placement (OHP, n=339), Group 3: NW Counties' OHP & CMH (n=78), Group 4: OCSI (n=67), and Group 5: OCSI Comparison (n=67). Findings indicate over time, there was a decrease in educational outcomes for children in both the OCSI and Comparison groups; attendance and MCA-II proficiency rates decreased while mobility increased. Children in the OCSI group experienced the fewest placement episodes, shortest lengths of placement, and highest placement instability than children in other groups. OCSI children also tended to be placed in more restrictive placements than children in other groups. (4 figures and 1 table.
foster children; systems of care; service integration; mental health services; program evaluation; academic achievement; out of home care; studies; Minnesota