Join Our Youth Trac at the Family & Youth Trauma & Resiliency Conference

By:  Jeff Schellinger, FAST TRAC/UC Research Assistant


As a caregiver to youth with behavioral challenges, you are probably familiar with FAST TRAC’s  System of Care programs and services, such as Wraparound, TIP, Peer Support Partners, increased school-based mental health services and early childhood mental health.  Within a System of Care, services and supports are to be family-driven and youth-guided, which is different from how they were historically delivered.

Another part of FAST TRAC’S System of Care is that it is committed to evaluation.  What this means is that FAST TRAC has in place a way of getting feedback from families and youth to determine which programs and services are working well and which are not working as well.  Evaluation also works to assess the experience of the caregiver of a youth with behavioral challenges.   


So how can a caregiver get involved in the evaluation process?  One way is through participation in the “National Evaluation.”  The National Evaluation occurs in every community who currently has a System of Care grant across the U.S. and receives federal funding through the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.  The National Evaluation is extremely important as it:


*Provides the federal government with information about Systems of Care (including Clermont FAST TRAC), how they develop and how they are sustained across time.

*Provides detailed information about the children and youth served, their families and their experiences with the Systems of Care.

*Offers an objective picture of what works and what does not work both in Clermont County and nationally.

*Provides Clermont County with information that may support applications for future grant funding opportunities.

To date, there are close to 80 families participating in FAST TRAC’s National Evaluation.  Families and youth involved in the Wraparound program or TIP are eligible to participate.  So, what does it mean to you if you participate as a parent/caregiver?   

*You will meet with a trained interviewer in your home or a place of your choosing for a 2.5 hour (roughly) interview.

*The interviewers are parents of youth with behavioral challenges.

*Youth (ages 11-21) may be interviewed as well, with permission.

*Questions involve seeking information about your experiences as a caregiver as well as questions about your child’s experiences and history.

*All information is confidential and each family is identified only by a number – no names are recorded.

*Each interview participant is compensated with a $20 gift card.  Yes, youth interviews, too.

*Since we want to measure changes over time, we want to do interviews every 6 months up to 18 months.

Most of the family members participating in the National Evaluation say they chose to do so for some of the following reasons:


*It is a way for them to provide direct and anonymous feedback as to how things are going, both good and not so good.

*It is a way for them to help and sit back to look objectively at how things are going for their family.

*For some, it is a way of giving back and saying “thank you” for the services their child and other children like them have received.

We really want your participation and feedback in the National Evaluation.  You can make a difference by telling us what you think!  It is especially important for participating families to stay involved with us over the 18 months so that we can learn how things change for your family over time.  So, jump in and help us serve you better.  Sign up for the National Evaluation!

Questions?  Call Jeff Schellinger at 556-1002 or 236-4668.