Clark County Children’s Mental Health Initiative
Clark County, Washington
October and November 1998
The mission of CCCMHI is to promote mental health and ensure that residents of the Clark County Region who experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime receive treatment and services that enable them to achieve and maintain an optimal level of functioning. With an emphasis on infrastructure development, proposed objectives were outlined as follows: A strong commitment to outcomes driven service delivery, supported by rigorous evaluation; Development of a system-wide management information system linking data from the mental health and child welfare agencies, Juvenile Justice, and the schools; Enhanced involvement of consumers at all levels in the system of care; Development of a children’s trust fund to create a resource base for the system of care; An expanded system of case finding, screening, and assessment; A cross-system program for increased cultural competence; Expanded intensive case management services to result in a client to case manager ratio of no more than 10 to 1 for children with complex needs; Enhanced capacity to provide the wraparound model as part of service planning; Enhanced capacity for resource mapping and asset identification.
The service area for the CMHI is all of Clark County, located in the southwestern part of Washington. Clark County has gained attention as one of the faster growing areas on the national level. In 1980, its residents accounted for 4.7 percent of the State’s population. As of July 2004, the total population in Clark County was 383,300. This number represents above 6.0 percent of the statewide total. Growth in Clark County can be attributed to a number of factors including its relationship with, and proximity to, the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, transportation facilities, and quality of life. Clark County is becoming more diversified with an increase in minority groups and ethnicity. Recent trends show an increase in all minority groups, particularly in the Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, and Hispanic Origin categories, as well as an influx of eastern Europeans. The White population for the county is still around 89 percent. The CMHI targets children, including adolescents, and their families who have or who are at risk of developing a serious emotional disturbance, have a GAF or CGAS score of 50 or below, receive or need services in multiple domains, have a DSM–IV Axis I diagnosis, and who have a disability that has persisted or is expected to persist for more than 1 year in duration. Evaluation data provided by Portland State University covering the period from August 1, 2003–August 18, 2004, indicates that a total of 1561 youth currently were in the PSU national evaluation tracking system and qualify for the system of care according to the eligibility criteria above. A total of 796 children have been actually served by the CMHI system of care. Of the children served, the average age was 11 years, 9 months and 62 percent were male; 84.3 percent were White and 6.7 percent were African-American. Approximately 6.9 percent of the children and youth served were Hispanic and 4.4 percent were American Indian.