Children's Enhancement Project: Developing Multisystem Collaborations


Amy Mendenhall

Job Title

Assistant Professor




Service Providers, Case Managers

Presentation Summary:

Developing multisystem collaborations in children’s mental health is challenging work.  This presentation introduces participants to a regional initiative in Northwest Missouri to develop a collaborative program, the Children’s Enhancement Project (CEP), and the concurrent evaluation of CEP being conducted to strengthen CEP and measure its effectiveness.  CEP utilizes a strengths-based philosophy of care utilizing a team approach to create individualized, family and child-focused services and natural community supports for youth at risk of institutionalized care.  The evaluation of CEP is multifaceted and comprehensive, with a focus on early community and organizational implementation, and clinical and cost outcomes.  By attending this presentation, participants will be better prepared to develop multisystem collaborations and a targeted, concurrent evaluation in their own communities.

-       Presentation participants will learn about and be able to describe the key components of the Children’s Enhancement Project (CEP), a regional initiative in Northwest Missouri to promote multisystem collaboration for children with severe emotional and beha

-       Presentation participants will be able to identify common challenges experienced when developing multisystem collaborations in children’s mental healthcare and discuss potential solutions to address those challenges when developing collaborative approache

-       Presentation participants will recognize the critical use of program evaluation in developing and implementing multisystem collaborations for children with emotional and behavioral disorders and will be able to list evaluation approaches, both qualitative




Dr. Mendenhall is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas. Her scholarship and research focus on child and adolescent mental health, specifically serious mental illness, service utilization, mental health literacy, and the impact of mental illness on families. She has been involved with research and evaluation studies investigating children's systems of care, mental health literacy, implementation of wraparound services for youth, family psychoeducational intervention, and service utilization of children diagnosed with serious mental illness. Dr. Mendenhall received her Master’s degree and Doctorate degree in social work from the Ohio State University, and completed post-doctoral clinical and research work in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the Ohio State University Medical Center.



Co-Presenters (There does not seem to be a place to include them elsewhere on this application):

Terry Cunningham, Children's Enhancement Project Coordinator

Susan Frauenholtz, KU School of Social Welfare Graduate Research Assistant