Behavioral Health for Childhood Trauma Recovery

State: New Hampshire

Client(s): HNH Foundation

Services: Health Care & Public Health Planning, Applied Research & Evaluation

Technical Expertise: Behavioral Health, Maternal and Child Health, State and Local Public Health


When police or child protective services in New Hampshire believe a child is being abused, the child is brought to a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) for a forensic interview to gather evidence of suspected abuse to inform the multi-disciplinary team. There has been a 30% increase in cases since 2013 with nearly 2,300 served in 2016. These children receive a continuum of services. Many, but not all, will be formally interviewed by a professional trained forensic interviewer. If abuse is disclosed, then a child is referred for a mental health assessment for needed therapeutic services. Unfortunately, a child who does not disclose abuse may not receive the same level of follow-up care. Many vulnerable children are not receiving comprehensive treatment.

This project aims to prioritize areas of need to bolster New Hampshire’s capacity to provide behavioral health services to support trauma recovery for children who have experienced abuse.

JSI will achieve this outcome by:

  1. Convening an advisory panel to inform research processes;
  2. Performing an environmental scan to identify current assets and gaps in the behavioral health system for children in trauma recovery;
  3. Conducting a national scan for promising practices of behavioral health services in a CAC model;
  4. Analyzing identified assets, gaps, and opportunities to draft preliminary findings and recommendations for larger stakeholder review; and
  5. Convening an expanded stakeholder group to prioritize areas of need and recommendations identified in needs assessment analysis.