Examples of ARC Implementation Projects
The ARC framework has been implemented in approximately 300 agencies and programs across the United States and internationally. These projects have taken place in a variety of settings, including outpatient mental health centers, home / community based service agencies, head start programs, group homes, residential treatment facilities, inpatient psychiatric facilities, juvenile justice programs, shelter / homeless programs, foster care programs, school systems, and many more.
Below, you will find a few examples of ARC implementation project descriptions that were submitted by the agencies. If your program / agency has been trained in ARC, and you would like your work to be highlighted on the ARC website, please contact [email protected].
One Hope United, Illinois
As a result of these experiences, the agency is now in the process of implementing ARC across all of its programs. We have ARC language in supervisory meetings, and discuss its application to children and families who are involved not only in community counseling but juvenile justice, child welfare, and residential referrals as well. In addition, the agency has taken on a commitment to becoming a trauma informed organization as a result of this involvement, and has recognized the need for trauma informed, developmentally appropriate approaches to be used in all programs. As part of the Healing Path, a number of paper and pencil instruments were used to evaluate the approach. The preliminary data indicate that ARC is highly effective across all populations as demonstrated by reductions in symptoms on the Child Behavior Checklist, completed by parents, and the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Scale (CANS) completed by the clinician. In addition, client and parent satisfaction surveys indicate a very high degree of satisfaction with the program (90%) with parents indicating that the approach has helped to reduce the symptoms that brought the family into therapy.
Mercy Home, Illinois
Mercy Home began implementation of the ARC framework in the fall of 2014 in order to refine our conceptual framework of care and align our work with evidence-supported practices. We chose ARC because, although our staff members were generally philosophically aligned with attachment and trauma-informed principles, our framework lacked the shared accessible language, clear practices, and broader community provided by the ARC framework. Our implementation process is ongoing and has involved a variety of components, including: leadership book groups, agency-wide training, direct-care champion groups, monthly clinical case consultation calls, and extensive work to align our outcomes, training curricula, and general policies with the framework.
Our implementation process has resulted in a variety of changes across our programs. We’ve reworked our conceptual framework, The Mercy Model of Care, with ARC as the primary guiding framework and lens for our clinical decision-making. Our direct-care teams have embraced their roles as innovators in integrating ARC language and concepts into daily life in our treatment milieu. Youth and staff can regularly be overheard discussing energy needs and regulation strategies. Our relationships with our partner schools have been solidified through sharing the ARC lens. Currently, we are undertaking a project to review many of our rules and consequences to explore their treatment utility in effectively responding to youth behaviors.
While a quantitative analysis is premature, we’ve seen a variety of indicators, throughout implementation, that the framework is improving our treatment environment. Many of our veteran staff have reported appreciating the shared language and simplicity of the framework. We continue to see a decrease in staff reliance on more restrictive physical interventions and punitive consequences and a greater focus on what our staff call “CPRs” – Coping, Process, Repair. We’ve also found that it is much easier to help our youth and families understand our treatment philosophy as well as to explain the key components of our work to community partners.
For further information about Mercy Home, please visit their website.
Juvenile Justice Program
Eliot Community Human Services, Massachusetts
Our Child, Youth and Family Services include expansive community based and residential services, including over 30 sites and 35 distinct programs, and service thousands of children and families each year, many of whom have been impacted by complex trauma. Eliot was first formally exposed to ARC in 2013 as a handful of staff from our In Home Therapy program were trained and participated in an Intensive Learning Community, while simultaneously committing to agency-level trauma informed system change.
Through collaboration with Dr. Joseph Spinazzola and Margaret Blaustein at The Trauma Center at JRI, Eliot has committed to ARC as a cornerstone of trauma informed and evidence based practice. Following multiple rounds of basic and advanced ARC training and consultation, Eliot infused ARC into division-specific models of care and developed internally sustainable ARC training and multiple tracks of intensive learning community style consultation, including a specialized adaptations for Juvenile Justice, Caring Together, and In Home Therapy programming. Over 85% of veteran staff have been trained, and all incoming staff dating back to April 2015, have received a 2 day Trauma Informed Care and ARC training. Eliot’s Outpatient Clinic in Everett is one of three sites selected to participate in the first ever ARC Randomized Control Trial. While formal outcome measurement is still in process, it is clear that the infusion of ARC at Eliot has had a profoundly positive impact of staff, children, youth and families.
For additional information about Eliot Human Services, please visit their website.
Head Start Program
Crittenton Children’s Center, Missouri
Trauma Smart® classrooms consistently show improvement in behavior management, positive classroom environment, productivity, language modeling, regard for student perspectives and quality of feedback. For children receiving individual therapy services, 100% with externalized behaviors and 61% with internalized behaviors improved from clinical to normal range. The response from teachers and parents has been overwhelmingly positive. As one teacher stated, “I felt all alone in the classroom. I really thought these kids’ issues were too big for me to handle. Now I have ARC tools that really help.”
For additional information on Crittenton’s Trauma Smart program, please visit their website.
Young Adult Services
Young Adult Services DMHAS, Connecticut
Foster Care Program
Lincoln County Department of Social Services, North Carolina
As a result of this training, relationships between the case managers and the foster families have strengthened. Foster parents now have a stronger understanding of the effects of trauma as it relates to the children’s behaviors. With a better understanding, most families have recognized how change can cause children to re-experience past trauma and are more committed to preventing disruptions in the lives of our children.