Evidence Based Practice (EBP) integrates best research evidence into delivery of services for youth and families. According to Burns and Hoagwood (2002) this evidence is gained from “a body of knowledge, obtained through carefully implemented scientific methods, about the prevalence, incidence of risks for mental health problems.”

The inclusion of youth and family values, voice and choice into EBP helps to integrate and align System of Care Core Values and Guiding Principles in the development and delivery of services.

Over the years, research into High Fidelity Wraparound has shown it has great promise to become an EBP (NWI, 2017). When practiced to fidelity, it has been shown to facilitate positive outcomes for youth and families.

In Virginia, new initiatives such as the Family First Prevention Services Act and Behavioral Health Redesign promote the use of Evidence Based Practice in service delivery. Frequently used EBPs in child and adolescent behavioral health include:

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • An evidence based treatment for children and adolescents impacted by trauma and their parents or caregivers.

Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

  • An evidence-based behavior parent training treatment for young children with emotional and behavioral disorders that place emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. Children and their caregivers are seen together in PCIT.

Multisystemic Therapy

  • An intensive family- and community-based treatment program that addresses all environments that impact high risk youth – homes and families, schools and teachers, neighborhoods and friends.

Functional Family Therapy

  • A strength-based model built on a foundation of acceptance and respect. At its core is a focus on assessment and intervention to address risk and protective factors within and outside of the family that impact the adolescent and his or her adaptive development.

As both the Family First Prevention Act and Behavioral Health Redesign are implemented in Virginia, more clinicians will need to be trained in these and other EBPs.