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Child Advocacy Centers

As part of a statewide initiative to improve care for traumatized youth, ARBEST is integrating the latest research with state-of-the-art training to promote excellence in care for children and adolescents experiencing physical or sexual abuse. To this end, ARBEST works closely with Child Advocacy Centers in Arkansas and other professionals to address the mental health needs of abused youth and their families in the following ways:

Targeted Follow-up

ARBEST has developed free, online, confidential tools that:

  • Help advocates understand the emotional and behavioral needs of these children and adolescents
  • Track referrals to mental health professionals from advocacy centers
  • Monitor outcomes for up to one month

Through a simple, confidential process that does not involve naming or identifying children, ARBEST offers a guide to mental health screening and provides a way to electronically record such information for follow-up.

Mental Health Continuum of Care

ARBEST will also fund mental health professionals so that they can be more available to efficiently and effectively screen, triage, and conduct therapy with these youth and their families. Through the Trained Clinicians Map, advocates will also be able to identify individuals in their communities trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), an evidence-based intervention for traumatized youth, and refer their clients to these clinicians.

Bi-Annual Reports

ARBEST will generate bi-annual reports on:

  • Emotional and behavioral needs of children and adolescents seen in participating Child Advocacy Centers
  • Extent of mental health referrals and linkages between the centers and local mental health professionals
  • Outcomes of traumatized children and adolescents seen by mental health clinicians in their geographic region.

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