Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Center of Excellence

Ohio is another step closer to achieving its goal of transforming the state’s approach to serving children, youth, and families who require support from multiple state systems, and our own Center for Innovative Practices (CIP) is leading the way. In March 2021, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) announced that the CIP, one of three established centers within the Begun Center, has been awarded a two-year, $3.6 million contract to coordinate a new statewide Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (COE).

"Case Western Reserve University’s Center for Innovative Practices has decades of experience and is highly-qualified to develop, manage and oversee the work of the new Center. We look forward to growing this new partnership, which I am confident will yield positive results for Ohio’s children and families for years to come," said OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss.

“The Center for Innovative Practices at the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education is honored to be selected to coordinate Ohio’s Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Center of Excellence,” said Richard Shepler, Ph.D., director of the Center for Innovative Practices. “CIP looks forward to providing support for Ohio’s transformative children’s initiatives and workforce. As a center, we are successful when youth and families are successful. We look forward to celebrating in their success.

OhioMHAS partnered with other state agencies, which include Job and Family Services, Medicaid, Youth Services, Developmental Disabilities, Health and Ohio Family and Children First, to develop and issue the request for proposals. Among its primary responsibilities, the COE will be responsible for:

  • building and sustaining a standardized assessment process,
  • evaluating the effectiveness of services,
  • expanding service and care coordination capacity for children with complex behavioral health needs and their families,
  • providing orientation, training, coaching, mentoring, and other functions/supports as needed to support Ohio’s statewide child caring provider network,
  • working with state partner agencies to support the addition and/or expansion, implementation, sustainability, and/or monitoring and evaluation of a number of services/processes, including expansion of access through use of telehealth,
  • supporting OhioRISE efforts to create new access to in-home and community-based services that will keep Ohio families together,
  • and bolstering Ohio's ongoing system transformation and improvement efforts, including expanding the behavioral health continuum of care to better serve youth and families.

“Securing this major grant from the state is a recognition of the capabilities of the principles in the Begun Center to carry out the work successfully,” remarked Grover C. Gilmore, PhD, Dean of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. “The judgment by Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is based not only on the substance of the application submitted, but very importantly on the work that the Begun Center has been doing for a number of years.”

Additional remarks Bobbi L. Beale, PsyD, and Richard Shepler, PhD:

We are grateful to have been selected to coordinate the statewide efforts to support Ohio's children and youth with complex behavioral health needs and their families. We're excited to increase the collaboration across the systems of care and we're prepared to expand the availability of evidence-based practices and services where they are most needed.  We're eager to engage in meaningful systemic change to increase the equity of service delivery and support systems. This is not light nor quick work, but it is the culmination of many people recognizing the great need across Ohio. A need that we now have the opportunity to address with new statewide initiatives such as OhioRISE and Family First Prevention Services Act and the Governor’s Children Initiatives. 
CIP is particularly excited to be working closely with Drs. Jeff Kretschmar and Chris Stormann at the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education, combining the expertise of staff from both teams. The increased implementation of EBPs while evaluating impacts and outcomes to ensure best practice, will provide constant feedback to further develop sustainable, cost-effective policy and ensure that children and families get the high-quality services they need and deserve. We are excited to move forward in supporting the workforce with trauma-informed and resiliency-oriented professional development strategies and practices.  

The CIP will be supported in this work by collaborative partnerships with the Ohio Children’s Alliance (OCA), the Public Children’s Services Agencies of Ohio (PCSAO), the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association (OCCRRA), the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Services Providers (The Ohio Council), Clermont County Family and Children First (Clermont FCFC), and other expert consultants, 

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Interim Director Matt Damschroder remarked, "through this partnership, families will be able to access the help they need.”