Since 1993, Kenneth Coll has served as a Clinical Services and Outcome Evaluation Consultant for Cathedral Home for Children. Working closely with our agency clinicians and direct care staff, Ken has provided consistent and valuable on-site training to evaluate the impact of our relationship based programs and services. Utilizing the Youth Comprehensive Risk Assessment, Ken is able to assess alcohol and other drug use/abuse and other risk indicators and review residents' severity and length of stay on a quarterly basis. With formalized data collected, he is able to provide valuable information in regards to outcomes and assist Cathedral Home for Children in providing services that have an impact on the growth of at-risk youth and their families.
Below, you will find research based articles that speak to the impact that our services provide in a variety of areas.
Evidence Based Practices and the Emerging Common Elements Approach
Several states have now implemented policies supporting the introduction and implementation of evidence based practices (EBP) (ACRC, 2008; Barth, Lee, Lindsey, Collins, Strieder, Chorpita, Becker & Sparks, 2012). Recent research has endorsed the “common elements” approach in which specific processes or modules that are common to evidence based treatment protocols (e.g., Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing) allow practitioners to choose which modules (e.g., stress reduction, regulating emotions, rolling with resistance) work best for a particular client after a diagnostic problem has been identified (e.g. anxiety, depression, trauma) (ACRC, 2008; Barth, et.al., 2012).
Here at Cathedral Home for Children, we embrace evidence based practice through the common elements approach, which is informed by data, ensures that treatment plans are based on high quality assessment (e.g., use of standardized measures), and identifing approaches that have been shown to be successful (ACRC, 2008; Barth, et. al., 2012).
For example, one of our major program goals is “To increase youth self-efficacy through trauma informed care.” This goal is consistent with the call for therapeutic residential services to provide more trauma-informed services (Briggs, Greeson, Layne, Fairbank, Knoverek & Prnoos, 2012). In fact, we rely on two studies at CHC that reveal this importance of treating trauma by promoting meaning and purpose for youth through relationship skill building [Coll, K. M., Thobro, P., Haas, R. (2004). Relational and purpose development in youth offenders. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development, 43, 41-49.]; and helping youth effectively develop emotional awareness and expression to improve their psychosocial development (i.e., industry, identity, intimacy) [Powell, S., Coll, K. M., Thobro, P., & Haas, R. (2011). Psychosocial correlates of alexithymia in a rural adolescent residential population. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 28, (4), 327-344.].
Another major program goal is “To enhance social-emotional competence by building a strong sense of community between residents,” Again this goal became clear in looking at internal results indicating that by promoting social competence; substance abuse and acting out related behaviors diminish [Coll, K. M., Stewart, R.A., Juhnke, G. A., Thobro, P., & Haas. R. (2009). "Distinguishing Between Higher and Lower Risk Youth Offenders: Applications for Practice." Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 29, (2) 68-80.]. We also are keenly aware via our data-decision making processes, that while at CHC, youth consistently engage in functional pro-social peer groups and improve socio-emotional effectiveness over time, and that youth benefit socially and emotionally from our holistic perspective as prescribed and in compliance with our national accrediting body, the prestigious Joint Commission (TJC) for Behavioral Health [Coll, K.M., Sass, M., Freeman, B. J., Thobro, P., & Hauser, R. (2014). Treatment outcome differences between youth offenders from a rural Joint Commission accredited residential treatment center and a rural non-accredited center. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth.].
Perhaps our most important focus here at CHC is “To increase the overall health of residents through improving their family’s interactions and functioning.” This has become a priority practice for us and we are getting very positive results. Our research has found that during a youth’s time at CHC, family functioning improves markedly; [Coll, K. M., Freeman, B. J., Scholl, S., & Hauser, N. (2018). Getting to the Bull’s Eye: Pre-Post family functioning changes of adolescents in residential treatment. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 35, 47-59. doi.org/10.1080.], and CHC plays a key role in helping youth build trust and social skills through family counseling. [Coll, K. M., Powell, S., Thobro, P., & Haas, R. (2010). Family Functioning and the development of trust and intimacy among adolescents in residential treatment. The Family Journal, 18, (3) 255-262.].
We also know that substance abuse can be a challenge with devastating consequences for youth coming to CHC. We take the substance abuse treatment aspect of our programming very seriously by incorporated best practices [Coll, K. M., Freeman, B. J., Juhnke, G. A., Sass, M., Thobro, P., & Hauser, N. (2015). Evaluating American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) dimension assessment as an outcome measure: A pilot study with substance abusing adolescent in two matched residential treatment centers. VISTAS, American Counseling Association, Article 910.]; and standard of excellence assessment tools [Coll, K.M., Juhnke, G.A., Thobro, P., Haas, R. (2003). A Preliminary Study Using the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory – Adolescent Form (SASSI-A) as an Outcome Measure with Youth Offenders. Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling, 24, 11-22. (Journal article of the year award for 2003).]
We also found that youth at CHC improve dramatically in self-esteem while at CHC, especially in the areas of self-esteem related to school and family. [Coll, K. M., Freeman, B. J., Barclay, N., Thobro, P. & Hauser, N. (2015). Exploring the utility of using the Self Esteem Index for treatment and outcome evaluation with early adolescents in a residential treatment center. Journal of Education and Human Development, 4 (3), 89-91. DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v4n3a10.]
Finally, ongoing staff development and training drives our work. We recently instituted staff development based on motivation and job fit, and are constantly working towards the goal of having the best people delivering the best compassionate service to youth at CHC. [Coll, K.M., Stewart, R.A., Coll, K., A., Scholl, S., & Hauser, N. (2018). The utility of manifest needs questionnaire (MNQ) for better selection and training of youth workers in therapeutic residential care: One Agency’s exploration. Children and Youth Services Review, 94, 126-131. doi.org/10.1016.]