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SAMHSA Selects SSW Institute to Lead National Technical Assistance Network

The University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW) has announced that the School's Institute for Innovation and Implementation has been awarded a five-year contract totaling $17 million by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Through this new SAMHSA award, The Institute serves as the lead and coordinating entity for the Technical Assistance Network for Children's Behavioral Health (TA Network), a partnership with three other universities and seven organizations.

The TA Network provides technical assistance to the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch (CAFB) of SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services and to grantees of the Children's Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) across the nation to support states and communities to expand and sustain their systems of care for children, youth, and young adults and their families.

Michelle Zabel, MSS,
who is shown in the photo above, is director of The Institute, a clinical instructor at SSW, and the principal investigator for the contract and director of the TA Network. Marlene Matarese, PhD '13, MSW, director of The Institute's training and technical assistance; and Denise Sulzbach, JD, director of The Institute's policy and strategic development, are the co-deputy directors of the TA Network.

"We are thrilled to host the TA Network," says SSW Dean Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW.
"We have excellent leadership in the person of Michelle Zabel, a terrific team of colleagues at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and a superb, mature network already providing national leadership in critical areas of children's behavioral health services. I look forward to watching the impact of these longstanding collaborations multiply with this significant investment by SAMHSA."

Members of the faculty and staff of The Institute gathered for the group photo, below, during the Maryland Systems of Care Training Institutes held last June in Baltimore.

The Institute staff


The TA Network's university-based partners, listed in alphabetical order, are Portland State University; the University of South Florida; and the University of Washington. Other partners, also in alphabetical order, include Accountability Solutions,LLC; Center for Community Learning; Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS); Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA); Human Service Collaborative; National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health; and Youth M.O.V.E. (Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience) National.

"We recognized and value the wealth of national, regional, state, and local capacity that has evolved within and across systems of care over the past 25 years, and are excited to launch the TA Network in full partnership with SAMHSA, the CMHI grantees, families, youth, and our many partners," says Zabel. "We are committed to delivering field-driven, data-informed, and culturally responsive technical assistance. Our approach will incorporate flexibility and strive to deliver expertise tailored to the specific needs of states and communities within a rapidly changing and increasingly sophisticated climate driven by health reform, technological advances, and other major shifts affecting children, youth, and families."

Established in 2005, when it was known as the Innovations Institute, The Institute has served since the outset as a Center of Excellence on Systems of Care for the Maryland Children's Cabinet, which is a subcabinet of the Governor's Executive Council and is intended to improve the structure and organization of state services for children, youth, and families.

The Institute is an intermediate purveyor of evidence-based practices and provides Wraparound and systems-design training and coaching in Maryland and nationally. The Institute works across public child- and family-serving systems, in partnership with families and youth, to improve access to high quality, effective, and culturally responsive home- and community-based services.

Located in a historic building at 306 W. Redwood St., The Institute includes faculty and staff from numerous disciplines, including psychology, criminology, law, and social work. Among its staff members are several master's and doctoral students of the SSW, including Mark Lardner, MSW '05; Kyla Liggett-Creel, MSW '00; Sarah Nadiv, MA; Mathew Uretsky, MSW, MPH; and Meredith Waudby, MSW '10.

Among the SSW alumni on its faculty and staff are Lardner, Liggett-Creel, Matarese, Waudby, Ari Blum, MSW '96; Emily Bradshaw, MSW '06; Emily Goldman, MSW '03; Therese Hackford, MSW '12; Deborah Harburger, MSW '04; Rebecca (Bertell) Lieman, MSW '12; Jennifer Lowther, MSW '99; Neil Mallon, MSW '06; Lisa McGarrie, MSW '10; Ryan Shannahan, MSW '11; and Melissa Watson-Clark, MSW '02.


Posting Date: 12/03/2013
Contact Name: Patricia Fanning
Contact Phone: 410-706-7946
Contact Email: pfanning@umaryland.edu