Project Name: Phoenix Project
Interface Children & Family Services (ICFS), located in Ventura County, CA will train school personnel and parents countywide about the impact of wildfire-related trauma on youth (K-12), the warning signs of trauma and the referral process for the Phoenix Project. Referred youth will receive the combination of evidence-based mental health services that best addresses each youth’s unique needs and emotional/behavioral risk level due to the 2018 Thomas and Woolsey Fires.
Populations to be Served: All children in Ventura County were impacted by the Thomas Fire (12/4/2017 – 01/15/2018), which burned 281,893 acres, and destroyed 1,063 structures and the Woolsey Fire (08/08/2018-08/21/2018), which burned 97,000 acres, destroyed 1,600 structures, killed three people, and prompted the evacuation of more than 295,000 people.
Strategies/Interventions: School-based trauma-informed, culturally-sensitive mental health services will include: 1) individual therapy (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, 2) group therapy (Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools, Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment, and group therapy and 3) family therapy (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Evaluation and CQI measures will include: Pediatric Symptoms Checklist (PSC-35), the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS), Post Traumatic Stress Index, Self-Sufficiency Matrix, the Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire – Short Form, and the Child Behavior Checklist.
Project Goals and Measurable Objectives: The goal of the Phoenix Project is to improved identification of, and timely response to, youth with mental health needs who are on a continuum of low, rising and high risk. The Phoenix Project will achieve the following objectives: 1) increase awareness of fire-related mental health concerns among school-age children and youth through a community outreach campaign facilitated through 211VC, the county’s information and referral call line overseen by ICFS; 2) train at least 500 school personnel and parents to recommend school-age children (and their families) who exhibit warning signs related to trauma suspected to be related to 2018 wildfires experiences, 3) assess referred school-age youth who exhibit identified warning signs, determine risk level, and refer all students to appropriate ICFS or community-based services, 4) provide a tailormade selection of evidence-based mental health school-based services to at least 600 eligible students (100 in Y1 and 500 in Y2), 5) link all children and youth referred to mental health services through the most appropriate ICFS program for their needs and/or to more appropriate services across the county, and 6) At least 35% of youth and families receiving mental health services will experience increased health, resiliency, self-sufficiency, and empowerment as measured by pre- and post-test assessments