Evaluation of Systems Reform in the AECF Mental Health Initiative for Urban Children

Final Evaluation Report

Posted May 1, 2000
By the University of South Florida
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This comprehensive evaluation provides findings from the Casey Foundation’s five-year Mental Health Initiative (MHI) for Urban Children, implemented in the early 1990s. The MHI created innovative ways of delivering culturally appropriate, family-focused mental health services to children in high poverty, urban communities, and worked with states to improve the policies and practices supporting these services. Readers get a feel for what worked through background information, major accomplishments, reform challenges, lessons learned and in-depth case studies. 

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

Focusing on poor urban kids was the right choice in making a system reform difference

The evaluation found that the Foundation’s focus on neighborhood-led, inner-city system reform for poor children was the right one. Just living day to day in impoverished conditions puts these children at much higher risk for spending time with institutions (e.g., mental health, juvenile justice, child welfare, special education) that are unprepared to help them and their families gain the support they need to succeed.