Preliminary Family Outcomes of a Field Experiment on Intensive in-Home Intervention for Children in Psychiatric Crisis

Mary E. Evans, University of South Florida
Roger A. Boothroyd, University of South Florida
Anne D. Kuppinger


This paper describes the Home-Based Crisis Intervention (HBCI) program in New York and the characteristics and outcomes of the families involved in a study that investigated the effectiveness of the program. The HBCI program provides short-term intensive in-home services to families with children who are at-risk of out-of-home placements. The intervention focuses on family strengths and needs using a multifaceted approach including skills building, counseling, and the provision of concrete services. The program effectiveness study included 221 children (ages 5-17) experiencing a psychiatric crisis that required immediate intensive intervention, hospitalization, or placement in another restrictive setting. Results indicate 63 percent of the families were Hispanic and 26 percent were African American. Eighty percent of the families had annual incomes of less than $20,000. Only 20 percent of the primary caretakers were employed. Seventy-two percent of the caretakers were single parents, and 55 percent of the caregivers had completed high school. The average age of enrolled children was about 11.5 years. Disruptive behavior and adjustment disorder diagnoses were the most common. After treatment, significant gains were found in cohesion and adaptability from intake to discharge. (CR)