Project Safespace promotes early identification and treatment of trauma and behavioral health needs of children entering out-of-home care. This is a collaborative initiative among the University of Louisville, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Departments for Community Based Services, and Behavioral, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Eastern Kentucky University Training Resource Center and Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children

Project Goals

  • Redesign the behavioral health service delivery system to be more responsive to the needs of children served by child welfare
  • Conduct universal behavioral health screening for children in out-of-home care by Department for Community-Based Services staff
  • Implement functional assessment of children in out-of-home care in private child care agencies and community mental health centers
  • Provide assessment-driven, case planning and evidence-based treatment to identified children and conduct systematic progress monitoring
  • Improve the social-emotional well-being of children in out-of-home care and those placed for adoption.

Intervention Details and Timeline

  • Pilot in Southern Bluegrass and Northeastern Regions (children removed in these regions and placed in DCBS FC or TFC in the region, or in residential anywhere but Eastern Mountain or Northern Bluegrass in year 2. Roll out to five regions subsequently, and final two regions in Year 5, with statewide implementation by September 2018 in sustainable format
  • DCBS workers will use a web-based application to complete standardized screeners (SDQ, Youth Child PTSD Checklist, Upsetting Events Survey and CRAFFT) based on the age of the child.  Upon referral based on screening results, behavioral health clinicians will assess and reassess using the KY CANS and report summarized results and specific plans for treatment modality, intensity and psychotropic medication use for incorporation into case planning, progress monitoring and case decision-making. Information will be exchanged between agencies using a secure electronic pathway.
  • Behavioral health clinicians will use PracticeWise to select from evidence-based treatment options using a common elements approach based on the functional assessment completed.
  • Web-based data entry will build the capacity for data-informed service array reconfiguration within the context of a broader system of care redesign to improve services for all Kentucky children.

Project Safespace Intervention Model


Program Manager, SAFESPACE

,  Clinical Consultant