The PACTS Grant

The Philadelphia Alliance for Child Trauma Services (PACTS)



The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services (DBHIDS) proposes to establish a Center, the Philadelphia Alliance for Child Trauma Services (PACTS), to serve youth with traumatic stress. The Center will create a trauma-informed consortium of behavioral health and child serving agencies to establish a continuum of care, beginning with identification of youth with traumatic stress symptoms and including trauma-focused treatment services.

Populations to be served: Eligible youth and their families include all those with traumatic stress symptoms from military families, those covered by Medicaid or uninsured in Philadelphia. They are primarily from impoverished and high distressed communities with an approximate racial/ethnic distribution, of 59% African-American, 19% Hispanic, 12% white, 5% Asian, 5% other and less than 1% Native American. Most of these youth are likely to have experienced multiple traumatic events when identified.

Strategies/Interventions: The continuum of care will have multiple entry points with symptom screening and referrals occurring at agencies that work with traumatized youth, trauma-informed assessment at behavioral health agencies, early brief preventive intervention (secondary prevention) using the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) and treatment for PTSD and established traumatic stress symptoms with Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).

Goals/Objectives: The goal of the Center is to increase the number of traumatized youth who receive evidence-based practices for their symptoms. The objectives are to: 1) increase screening for traumatic stress symptoms in child-serving programs such as pediatric emergency departments, primary care clinics, juvenile court and child welfare sites; 2) provide trauma-informed clinical assessments at child and adolescent behavioral health programs; 3) developĀ  a coordinated network of service providers for expeditious referral of children and families; 4) provide early posttraumatic intervention to prevent the development of PTSD using CFTSI; and 5) provide TF-CBT for children and adolescents who have established full or partial PTSD with co-morbid disorders and difficulties.

Number Served: The Center will increase the number of youth and families served each year, projecting to serve 344 youth in year 1; 532 in year 2; 584 in year 3; and 658 in year 4; and totaling 2,118 over the life of the project.

Affiliated Agencies: PACTS has already identified pediatric providers and ten behavioral health providers that have long histories of serving youth and their families and all of which have undergone TF-CBT training in the past 18 months, including the lead agency, Hall-Mercer CMHC, which houses the Penn Center for Youth and Family Trauma Response and Recovery. Training in TF-CBT and CFTSI will be provided by experts who are developers of these trauma-focused interventions. Performance assessment and evaluation will be conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and will focus on data reporting, project implementation, achievement of project objectives, fidelity to service models, assessment of cultural competence, assessment of client satisfaction, and continuous quality improvement.