Campus Directory

University of South Florida · College of Behavioral & Community Sciences · Mental Health Law & Policy


Key Personnel:
Robert M. Friedman, Ph.D.
David A. Drews, Ph.D.
Karen A. Blase, Ph.D.
Dean L. Fixsen, Ph.D.
Robert I. Paulson, Ph.D.
Jack Zusman, M.D.

Children's Mental Health: Service Array, Evidence-Based Practices,and Quality Improvement

Publication Date: 6/1/2005

Download Documentpdf icon


Th e purpose of this study was to gather information that is practical and helpful for the state of Florida and for communities within Florida in improving their systems, services, and, most importantly, outcomes for children with mental health challenges and their families. Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) was interested in three major research questions:

  • What is the current service array in Florida, and what should it be?
  • How can we develop an eff ective and feasible performance measurement/ quality improvement (PM/QI) system?
  • How can we promote the implementation of best practices and Evidence-based Practices (EBP's)?

To answer these questions, an online survey was administered to leadership from the 25 AHCA and Department of Children and Family (DCF) offi ces with follow up interviews with each of the 25 offi ces. Th ese offi ces nominated providers in their Districts or Areas whom they felt were innovative, used Evidence-based Practices (EBP's), or provided high-quality services. Th irty-three of the providers completed an online survey. Th e initial fi ndings were summarized and presented to a parent focus group, a Hispanic parent focus group, a Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Expert focus group, national experts and directors of exemplary communities and programs, and a state-wide stakeholders key informant group for their feedback. We were particularly interested in how the Florida results compared to the national picture.