Child Welfare Organizational Assessment

      In 2015 and renewed to 2018, HZA was contracted by Maine’s Office of Child and Family Services to examine concerns it had with maltreatment reporting and assessment, process efficiency and family engagement. The analysis of laws, regulations and polices was used to specify what counts as child maltreatment, define the processes to handle cases and spell out the requirements for getting families involved in case planning. HZA employed interviews and focus groups conducted across the state to gather OCFS staff perspectives about the effectiveness and efficiency of the agency’s efforts. A case record review of a sample of cases was also completed to examine family engagement and determine which policies were being followed. HZA also listened to calls to OCFS’ central intake to obtain first-hand knowledge of how the intake process works. Lastly, HZA analyzed data from the state’s case management system, MACWIS, to measure repeat maltreatment and to determine why reports accepted by central intake were never assessed.   Using the findings from the study, HZA worked with OCFS to develop a work plan to implement policy and practice changes which focus on engaging families, such as ensuring fidelity to Maine’s family team meeting model, and, most importantly, changing how maltreatment is defined. HZA was then hired to conduct a workload study and redraft the state’s Intake policy, consistent with federal and state Child Welfare law as well as to provide technical assistance in developing a policy management system.

      Co-occurring State Integration Initiative (COSII)

      HZA conducted a rigorous process and outcome measures evaluation of the State Incentive Grants for Treatment of Persons with Co-occurring Substance Related and Mental Disorders, Co-occurring State Integration Initiative. The goal of this multi-year project, funded by a grant from SAMHSA, was to institute broad and far-reaching changes in the services offered to people across the State who experience co-occurring psychiatric and alcohol or drug-related disorders. To create a welcoming system, changes in approach were tested with diverse populations in three pilot sites, and then replicated more broadly at 27 health, mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities throughout Maine. HZA created a web-based database used by all the providers to track clients enrolled in the evaluation.

      Evaluation of Healthy Transitions Initiative

      HZA served as evaluator of a SAMHSA-funded Healthy Transitions Initiative called Moving Forward. This five-year grant operated in multiple behavioral health sites in Maine with one focusing exclusively on homeless youth. The project tested the use and effectiveness of the Transition to Independence (TIP) model developed at the University of South Florida in multiple service settings as well as adding a Peer Mentor to the services received by youth.

      Evaluation of Juvenile Justice Collaborative in Lewiston

      From 2016 to 2017 HZA is evaluating a juvenile justice collaborative of three agencies designed to reduce juvenile recidivism or divert high-risk youth from juvenile involvement. The program is operating largely in an immigrant community in Lewiston, Maine. The after school Reporting Center allows youth to participate in positive activities with constant supervision while benefitting from academic support, counseling community service opportunities, arts and cultural enrichment, social skills development, and opportunities for field and service trips. The Root Cellar performs similar activities as well as helping youth fulfill their restorative justice goals. The Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services provides support through interpretation and cultural brokering services with the parents. HZA is assessing growth in developmental assets as well as educational achievement and recidivism.

      Evaluation of Kennebec Regional Re-entry Program

      HZA’s evaluation focuses on two primary areas of inquiry. First, the study documents the process of program development and implementation, noting changes to the original plans, and recording lessons learned. Second, the evaluation determines the extent to which the intervention, namely early re-entry planning coupled with an intense treatment program while incarcerated, results in reduced recidivism among participants within 12-months after program initiation.

      Evaluation of Maine Health Access Foundation Integration Initiative

      In 2006, HZA evaluated the visioning phase of the Foundation’s initiative to sponsor projects which would integrate physical and mental health services. The second purpose was to design a global evaluation plan that could be applied to all the funded initiatives. The primary stakeholders were community mental health agencies, associations of physicians and other medical professionals, public agencies and hospitals.   HZA found that MeHAF’s Integration Initiative achieved what it intended by obtaining agreement among a diverse group of stakeholders about where the system should go and the broad goals and objectives involved in getting there. The planning effort was less successful. While some concrete steps to be taken were identified, they did not form a complete strategy or provide an adequate basis for determining what the foundation should fund.

      Evaluation of Maine’s Family Drug Treatment Courts

      Family drug courts are specialized civil court proceedings responsible for handling child protective custody cases involving substance abuse by parents or other caregivers. These courts represent the coordinated efforts of judges, child protective caseworkers, treatment professionals and representatives from a variety of local, private and public sector agencies to address complex problems associated with substance abuse among parents involved in the child welfare system. In 2006 HZA began an evaluation of Maine’s family drug courts focusing on two issues: programmatic success in relation to treatment, child welfare and judicial outcomes; and systemic cost savings associated with those outcomes. Findings have included the following.   Family drug court participants were significantly more likely to enter into and complete treatment.   • Children of family drug court participants had significantly fewer placement changes and spent less time in foster care.   • Once returned to the home, children of these participants were less likely to experience a subsequent removal.  

      Evaluation of Medication Assisted Treatment for Drug Addiction

      In 2009, HZA received a contract to evaluate the impact of medication-assisted therapies such as Suboxone and methadone on the treatment of consumers of addiction services and on the agencies which provide these therapies. For this project, which had received a two-year Advancing Recovery grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, HZA did extensive research on the practices of ten pilot agencies, the views of consumers about alternative treatment approaches and the outcomes for consumers. HZA conducted surveys and focus groups with individuals being treated for drug addiction at the pilot agencies. In addition, HZA reviewed Medicaid claims of individuals receiving no addiction treatment (but with emergency room claims), behavioral health services only and both behavioral health and medication assisted treatment. Consumers receiving both behavioral health and medication assisted therapies had the best results.

      Evaluation of Peer Mentors in Youth Court<

      Starting in 2013 for three years, HZA oversaw the performance assessment and evaluation of the Peer Mentors in Youth Court Program, an initiative funded by SAMHSA. The program is intended to divert youth ages eleven to eighteen who have committed a first time, non-violent offense and are at high risk for or are demonstrating signs of substance abuse. The program combines restorative youth courts operated by teens with the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and pairs each participant with a peer mentor. HZA developed a web-based client tracking system for the project encompassing enrollment, service delivery, outcomes and administrative functions. HZA is using these and other data to produce process and outcome evaluations.

      Evaluation of Prescription Monitoring Program

      Prescription Monitoring Programs (PMP) are statewide electronic databases that contain data on dispensed prescriptions for controlled substances. PMPs are used by physicians to identify possible drug interactions when prescribing medications, to identify possible prescription drug diversion or abuse such as when a patient is receiving prescriptions from several doctors, and to refer patients to substance abuse treatment when appropriate. In 2013 HZA became the evaluator of Maine’s grant from SAMHSA to link Maine’s PMP data with those of eight other states (including Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont and Washington), as well as to link PMP data with the electronic health records of over 75% of Mainers through Maine’s Health Info Net. A goal of the project is to provide a more complete patient history by linking the PMP directly to electronic health records and creating interoperability with other states. HZA has conducted an on-line survey of all registered PMP users (4,127 medical professionals); nearly one-third responded to discuss their use of the system and areas for improvement.

      Evaluation of Substance Abuse Treatment Models

      Working with two behavioral health providers as well as the state of Maine, HZA conducted a formative and outcome evaluation of the adolescent substance abuse treatment models: the AC-OK for screening, the GAIN for assessment and the A-CRA for treatment. Since these are already evidence-based practices, HZA assessed what it takes to train the workforce to deliver these services and whether Maine can develop practical and sustainable funding/payment strategies to support the services on-going. In addition, HZA is tracking the youth who receive them and their outcomes. Furthermore, HZA used a fidelity assessment based upon the 12-week ACR-A model.

      Evaluation of the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant

      Over a four-year period beginning in 2005, HZA evaluated Maine’s Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant, a SAMHSA-funded prevention initiative. The purpose of the project was to create and support a statewide prevention/health promotion infrastructure designed to reduce substance abuse, reduce risk factors and consequences with a demonstrated link to substance abuse and reduce consumption and other health risk behaviors linked to substance abuse. Major activities included the design of process and outcome evaluation instruments, collection and analyses of National Outcome Measures and other epidemiological and evaluative Maine data, development of an assessment and strategic planning guide for county grantees to engage in the Strategic Prevention Framework, participation in workgroups and the Executive Management Team and collaboration with national evaluators to develop data collection tools and assist in Maine’s compliance with national cross-site evaluation requirements. The evaluation demonstrated that Maine made reduced underage drinking and high risk drinking among young adults over the course of the grant. Specifically the achievements were to:   • increase the proportion of youth who report no use of alcohol in the previous 30 days,   • reduce two-week binge-drinking among youth,   • increase perceived consistency of underage drinking enforcement and   • reduce the proportion of 9-12th graders who start drinking before age 14.  

      Evaluation of Up and Running Diabetes Prevention Project

      HZA conducted a process evaluation of the implementation of the evidence-based National Diabetes Prevention Program in several settings in central Maine. MaineGeneral Medical Center sponsored the program “Up and Running” in partnership with community based organizations. The evaluation described the process employed to link adults with pre-diabetes and risk factors for diabetes to the prevention course. The formative aspect of the evaluation examined the processes for establishing project sites, engaging lifestyle coaches, and implementing the program according to fidelity measures. The summative aspect examined the impact of the program based on measurable changes in risk factors (weight and physical activity) and changes in emotional well-being.

      Evaluation Plan

      HZA worked with the Greater Somerset Public Health Collaborative, a community-based organization in central Maine, to develop an evaluation plan for all of its programs. GSPHC provides disease prevention and health promotion services in the areas of physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco use and substance abuse. The evaluation plan includes indicators for each of the program areas, as well as indicators for the overall collaborative.

      Families Electronic Family Record System (EFRS) for Home Visiting

      HZA developed the Maine Families Electronic Family Record System (EFRS), a secure web-based program utilized by 17 program sites. EFRS standardizes data collection, helps home visitors manage their caseloads and provides data to HZA for federal benchmark reporting and other performance measurement. HZA provides training and technical assistance in the use of the database to program representatives and operates a HELP DESK to support system users.

      Financial Mapping for Maine Youth Treatment Recovery Enhancement Project

      Through a federal cooperative agreement Maine has enhanced its substance use treatment services for adolescents who are 12 to 18 years of age. To continue to be able to support these services after the federal funds expired, the State needed to develop a financial structure and policies to support and sustain integrated evidence-based treatment across state agencies. HZA assisted by mapping all relevant funding streams from five units of government to the services they currently support. The resulting financial map has illustrated differences among agencies in funding

      Healthy Families Program Evaluation

      HZA has evaluated the Home Visiting Program for first time parents in Maine from 2002 to 2015. Maine’s Home Visiting Program provides home-based education and support services to first time families and pregnant and parenting adolescents throughout the State of Maine with the goal of increasing the health status and self-sufficiency of Maine’s families. The particular focus is on new, first-time parents and their infants and young children and in more recent years in high risk, high need communities. The program is intended to have a positive impact on child health, parent-child attachment, parent knowledge and skill in supporting childhood growth and development. HZA’s evaluation has included a multi-site (13 agency) comparative analysis of process and outcome measures; development and implementation of an integrated database at each program site to standardize data collection and universalize program evaluation; training and technical assistance for providers in the use of evaluation methods; annual surveys of both families and community organizations that collaborate with the agencies; and completion of reports for public dissemination.

      Maine Building State Capacity for Preventing Youth Substance Use and Violence

      To prepare for the conclusion of the Safe and Drug Free Schools program, Maine’s Department of Education and Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) received a one-year Building State Capacity Grant from the United States Department of Education. As part of the resulting effort, HZA conducted a comprehensive assessment to identify state-level youth substance abuse and violence prevention strategies, programs and services, as well as associated needs, resources, gaps and duplication of effort. HZA created an inventory of existing programs at the county level as well as of supporting resources and statewide initiatives, analyzed sub-state prevalence data on key violence and substance abuse indicators to pinpoint areas where additional resources might be needed, and created a key-informant survey that was distributed to representative school administrators in each of the eight public health districts. The firm assisted the Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention for Schools Workgroup to develop a Strategic Plan that summarized the needs assessment findings, which included plans for implementation, evaluation and sustainability.

      Maine Enhanced Parenting Program Title IV-E Waiver Evaluation

      From 2015 to 2020 HZA is evaluating Maine’s Title IV-E Waiver program which is focused on implementing a Matrix Intensive Outpatient Program model together with the Triple P parenting program to treat drug affected parents whose children are under the age of five and have been removed or are at risk of being removed from home. HZA developed a comprehensive evaluation methodology and protocols to conduct a process, outcome and cost evaluation. To assist with data collection and analysis, the firm’s programmers developed two automated tools, one being used by contracted service providers to track families served and treatments provided to measure fidelity; the second is an automated version of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) for use by casework staff to assess children and families. HZA also uses MACWIS, Maine’s SACWIS to track the outcomes of families in comparison to a matched group not receiving Waiver services. In addition, Medicaid files are being analyzed as part of the cost component of the evaluation.

      Maine Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Evaluation (MIECHV)

      Under the Affordable Care Act states have been expanding and enhancing their data capacities. Hired as a subcontractor by the University of Southern Maine from 2013 – 2016, HZA was responsible for multiple qualitative evaluation components. To this end, HZA has developed program manager interviews and staff focus group questions which were then implemented through a series of site visits with all home visiting providers across the state. HZA also served as the lead on analyzing the qualitative results, using NVivo software, and producing a report of the findings. Child development, home safety, nutrition and calming a crying baby were the skills most frequently applied by families receiving home visiting services. Families enrolled prenatally were less likely to have babies pre-term and less likely to have low birth weight babies and more likely to breastfeed at the time of hospital discharge.

      Maine Partnerships for Success Evaluation

      In 2012, HZA contracted with the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to conduct a process evaluation of the three-year Partnerships for Success II grant from SAMHSA. Maine has distributed the bulk of these grant funds to communities through Healthy Maine Partnerships, and HZA’s evaluation explores how these community groups implement new substance abuse prevention strategies for prescription drug misuse and marijuana use in youth and young adults. Part of the work includes evaluating the process for developing a statewide mass media campaign that provides consistent messages about the dangers of teen marijuana use. Another aspect entails evaluating the process that Maine’s Tribes use to implement evidence-based programs at five tribal locations.

      Maine Pediatric Rapid Evaluation Program (PREP)

      In 2006, HZA was contracted by the HealthReach Network to conduct an evaluation of the Pediatric Rapid Evaluation Program (PREP). PREP represents a collaboration between the MaineGeneral Medical Center and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to improve the health and mental health status of children in Maine’s foster care system in targeted communities. The purpose of the evaluation was threefold: to determine whether PREP services had a positive impact on the children and youth who received them; to project service needs based on the profiles of children in foster care; and to assess what additional information or processes would be needed to perform a more thorough evaluation. The study also involved a needs projection component for those not receiving PREP.

      Maine State Epidemiological Workgroup

      In 2010, Maine received a three-year State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) Grant from SAMHSA to support the continued ability of the agency to engage in data-driven decision-making. HZA was contracted to support all aspects of the grant, as well as produce two critical items: the Statewide Epidemiological Profile and eight Community Epidemiological Profiles. The profiles entailed analyzing data from multiple sources that indicated the prevalence of substance use, the consequences of substance use, factors that contribute to use, the relationship between mental health and substance use and information on publicly funded substance abuse treatment. In accordance with the grant requirements, HZA also prepared a data dissemination plan, data gap plan and targeted policy briefs and fact sheets. Working with members of the SEOW, HZA engages in ad hoc studies such as exploring data from the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey or conducting focus groups with minority culture populations.

      Maine Statistical Analysis Center

      Working under contract to the University starting in 2013, HZA provides data analysis and report writing for the Maine Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), a collaboration with the Maine Department of Corrections. The SAC collects, analyzes and disseminates statistical information from a variety of Maine data sources to highlight trends in crime and criminal justice in the state, identify policy implications, and allow a comparison to regional and national trends.

      MIECHV Home Visiting Evaluation Technical Assistance

      Under the Affordable Care Act states are expanding and enhancing their data capacities. Hired as a subcontractor by the University of Southern Maine from 2013 – 2016, HZA is responsible for linking Maine’s Electronic Family Record System (EFRS) for Home Visiting with other databases in the state such as MACWIS, the state’s child welfare information system. This will allow us to enhance the evaluation by tracking and analyzing data in other systems with which the families may be involved. Specifically, HZA will help to determine whether Maine’s statewide home visiting program, Maine Families, has an impact on reducing first-time and multiple child maltreatment reports to Maine’s Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS).

      Odyssey Program Evaluation

      Funded by SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services, this project’s goal was to increase high school and college graduation and employment rates among youth ages 14 to 25 who had serious mental or emotional illnesses, as well as to decrease homelessness, substance abuse, and criminal activity. Working with the Department of Vocational Services at Maine Medical Center, the project emphasized employment and multiple work experiences building on the cooperation of local employers through the Mental Health Employer Consortium. As the evaluator of this multi-year effort, HZA used data extracted from the hospital’s management information system to track the enrolled youth. HZA also conducted focus groups with youth and their parents and surveys of youth participants. In addition to a final evaluation report, HZA worked with Maine Medical Center’s media group to produce a video featuring several transition-age youth and the challenges they had faced. It is being used with teachers, counselors and social workers to help guide their practice, demonstrating which techniques are effective from the youth’s perspective.

      Penobscot County Vocational and Housing Support

      HZA developed case management software for the Penobscot County’s Sherriff’s Office to use for its federal re-entry project, Penobscot County Vocational and Housing Support. HZA is also the evaluator of the project, funded by the Second Chance Act. The software helps case managers track clients who have received the re-entry support, whose focus is vocational training and housing. It includes all the assessment data such as AC-OK and the Level of Service Inventory so that HZA can relate the recidivism outcomes to assessments, treatment and services received.

      Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Evaluation

      This evaluation is being implemented from 2016 to 2020. Funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the state of Maine, this project demonstrates HZA’s knowledge of Medicaid and national health law and policy as it relates to opioids and prescription pain killers. Maine passed one of the strictest laws in the country, which goes into effect January, 2017, to restrict and monitor prescribing and dispensing practices relating to opioid (narcotic) pain medicine. The project is designed to enhance the Prescription Monitoring Program software and policies about its use. For example, under the new law all licensed prescribers must register to use the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). The software tracks the numbers of prescriptions, quantities, people receiving and specific types of medications. Through it, prescribers can see if patients have already received a similar medication. The state can track prescribing practices and use the information for training the professionals and the public. HZA staff wrote the proposal to the US CDC for the state and is serving as project evaluator. HZA is using state and federal law to determine compliance with prescribing restrictions and tracking short- intermediate- and long-term outcomes resulting from misuse of prescription drugs

      SMART Probation/SMART Supervision Evaluation

      From 2016 to 2017, with funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, HZA is evaluating the SMART Probation initiative in Maine which is training probation officers to use evidence-based techniques to reduce recidivism. HZA is using a mixed method approach including key informant interviews as part of a process evaluation, training assessments and analysis of recidivism data.

      Statewide Adult Drug Court Program Evaluation and Training

      Drug courts have been operational in Maine for nearly two decades. Today, Maine has ten types of drug courts (six adult, three family, and one adult co-occurring) serving twelve of Maine’s sixteen counties. With funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, HZA conducted a process and outcome evaluation of Maine’s adult drug court system. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, HZA measured the extent to which each program operates with evidence-based practices and also assessed the long-term impact of these programs on reducing recidivism and system-level costs. Outcomes of drug court participants are compared with a matched sample of traditionally adjudicated offenders.

      Statewide Human Trafficking Needs Assessment

      In 2015, HZA was hired by the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault to conduct a needs assessment which would include an estimate of the prevalence of human trafficking and exploitation in Maine, the impact of human trafficking and exploitation on state systems and citizens, the strengths and gaps in the capacity of Maine’s services and law enforcement to respond to human trafficking and exploitation, and action steps to build on the system’s strengths and address needs in the coming years. HZA used a mixed methods approach to identify the prevalence of human trafficking and the capacity of Maine’s service providers and law enforcement agencies to respond to it. HZA conducted structured and semi-structured interviews with state leaders, law enforcement, service providers, district attorneys, and advocates. Individual interviews and focus groups were conducted with current victims, including young adults, and survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation to gain insight into the impact of sexual exploitation, services available, and perception of laws and other protections currently in place. The impact of this study was considerable. The prevalence estimate was referenced in television newscasts and in three articles in September 2016 by the Bangor Daily News, and one more in the Bangor Daily News in November 2016. Findings were presented at one international conference and three national conferences. Based on the findings of this study, trainings were held for court advocates, law enforcement, social service providers and other stakeholders.

      Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drug Project: SPF Rx

      From 2016 to 2021 HZA is working with the Maine CDC on its five-year Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drug Project whose goal is to increase the number of citizens living safe, healthy and productive lives by decreasing opiate addiction in Maine. HZA, in collaboration with the State’s Substance Abuse Prevention Team, existing advisory boards and councils and nine public health District Coordinating Councils, is conducting a state-level assessment to inform the statewide strategic plan. HZA is using data from the Prescription Monitoring Program database and other State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) data resources to gather and interpret needs assessment data, employing geographic information system (GIS) mapping to distinguish where services are most needed. Affinity workgroups, focused on major objectives, and public listening sessions with live audience polling in each of the public health districts are being used to obtain stakeholder input. HZA will work closely with the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to develop a process for tracking data indicators that will be used to measure progress in achieving the project objectives over time, e.g., rate of overdose deaths, emergency room admissions related to opiates and prevalence of prescription drug misuse and opiate use.

      Training and Technical Assistance to Adult Drug Courts in Maine

      HZA has used court observations, interviews and data analysis to identify training needs and then to provide training and technical assistance to adult drug courts throughout Maine with funding from SAMHSA. A number of stakeholders a were involved including the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts, Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Maine Department of Corrections, Office of the Attorney General, Maine Pretrial Services and six county Drug Court teams.

      Transition Age Youth Policy

      As evaluator of Moving Forward, Maine’s Healthy Transition Initiative for youth ages 16 to 25 with mental illness, HZA has identified systemic issues which plague mental health systems including policies, structures, eligibility criteria, service policies and treatment approaches. To address these issues HZA’s staff worked with the agency to develop a statewide policy for transition-aged youth. With HZA’s support, an advisory group was convened to craft an overarching policy statement around transition to be adopted by various departments which provide services to such youth. HZA and the advisory group work with each department to implement and operationalize the policy and to impact practice on the local level.

      Trauma-informed Practices in Maine Juvenile Corrections

      In 2012 Maine was awarded a multi-year contract to expand the principles of the trauma informed system of care developed in mental health to juvenile justice services. As the evaluator and technical assistance advisor, HZA is working with probation officers statewide to examine policies and practices and to institute evidence-based services designed to divert youth with mental illness from the juvenile system. HZA is evaluating the success of the program using a quasi-experimental design, with one region of the state not receiving the intervention acting as a control.

      Trauma-informed System of Care Evaluation

      For six years HZA served as the state and local evaluator for the Trauma-informed Systems of Care project called THRIVE, funded by SAMHSA. The project was designed to build an infrastructure and implement an integrated system of care for children ages birth through eighteen with serious emotional disturbances. THRIVE advanced the trauma-informed approach in five key ways:   • creating a Family Partnering Program which offered trauma-informed peer support to families receiving children’s mental health services;   • convening the Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Learning Collaborative, which trained numerous providers in this evidence based treatment model;   • providing trauma-informed technical assistance and training for agencies and direct service staff;   • developing a Trauma-informed Agency Assessment and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) process by which to inform improvement and gauge progress at the agency level; and   • encouraging the development of youth and family voice by supporting the creation and development of the Maine Alliance of Family Organizations and Youth Move Maine.   HZA’s evaluation demonstrated that children whose parents had had three or more trauma experiences in childhood actually had better outcomes when a Family Partner was introduced than children whose parents did not have trauma histories. The State of Maine Department of Corrections received a System of Care Expansion Grant to transfer the knowledge gained in THRIVE to the juvenile justice system, making those services more trauma-informed. HZA is both the technical assistance provider and the evaluator of this other multi-year project.

      Workload Study

      In 2017, HZA completed a workload study for the Maine Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS), conducted in response to an organizational assessment the firm conducted in which widespread concern was voiced by staff that there were not sufficient staff to handle its current demand. The results of the study were used to determine, based on caseloads at the end of December 2016, if additional caseworkers were needed. While an overall net need of authorized as well as filled positions was evidenced, at least two of OCFS’ eight districts were found to have more staff than are needed. Maine has a process by which reports of maltreatment can be referred to a contracted alternative response provider, offering districts the opportunity to refer less severe reports of abuse or neglect. An analytic tool was designed to enable OCFS to measure the impact on its caseload if all referrals were assigned for investigation, at both the statewide and district levels, as well as to enable supervisors to measure the volume of cases any one worker can handle at a time.

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