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State redesigns children's behavioral health program

BerryDunn’s Child Welfare Practice helps agencies build sustainable programs to create better outcomes. Our experts helped a state redesign its pathway to screen and assess children with mental health needs and help ensure children receive appropriate home and community-based mental health services. In addition, we developed a robust quality improvement plan that included data collection and reporting to improve outcomes for children.


A state was experiencing high numbers of children being served in residential mental health treatment placement settings. They realized major change was necessary to transition children out of, and divert them from, restrictive placements.

Their goals were to:

  • Reduce the population of children entering residential mental health treatment settings
  • Prevent future residential populations from unnecessarily entering such settings
  • Increase service options for children within their communities
  • Improve outcomes for children needing treatment


To achieve these goals, BerryDunn assisted the state in redesigning its path to children’s mental health services by improving mental health screening and assessment processes.

This included extensive training, outreach, and education to staff, communities, and all interested parties who serve children and their families, as well as identifying that regular monitoring, data collection, and quality control help make significant process improvements.


After implementing BerryDunn’s recommendations:

  • The state significantly improved and expanded the publicity of and access to home and community-based services. These services are now available, utilized, and sustainable statewide.
  • Within the first three years, the state met and surpassed the first benchmark of reducing the population of children placed in residential mental health treatment settings by 25%.
  • The state built a sustainable data collection system and reformed its Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) processes.

Our team helps child welfare agencies and cross-collaborative departments strategically enhance their internal process to deliver quality programs that will improve children, youth, and family outcomes. We'd be happy to speak with you about your unique challenges. Contact our child welfare consultants. 

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