Client typology based on functioning across domains using the CAFAS: Implications for service planning

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Cluster analysis was used to develop a five-group typology based on the eight subscales of the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) using data on 4,758 youths referred to Community Mental Health Service Providers in Michigan. The groups are described in terms of clinical diagnoses, overall impairment in functioning, past and current use of services from other agencies (i.e., juvenile justice, social services), and caregiver resourcefulness. From most to least impaired, the clusters were the following: Substance Users/Externalizers, Comorbid/Self-Harmful, Delinquents, Marked/School Problems, and Adjustment Problems with Impairment/Secondary Prevention. The results are being used to help identify the most impaired youths with serious emotional disturbance (SED) youths, develop specific programs and services for the different types of youths being served, determine staff training needs, and foster clinical practice in which the youth's progress is continually monitored.

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