Child and Youth Mental Health

The implementation of the interRAI Collaborative Action Plans to improve outcomes for children and youth exposed to domestic violence

View Project Fact Sheet (PDF)



This project is implementing and evaluating the interRAI Child and Youth Mental Health instrument (ChYMH), which is an innovative assessment-to-intervention tool that assesses the mental health needs of children be-tween the ages of 4 to 18. This project aims to provide training on the use of the interRAI ChYMH using a trauma-informed lens and subsequently assess the impact of Collaborative Action Plans (evidence-informed guidelines for areas of high need embedded within the assessment tool) on clients who have been exposed to domestic violence and abuse (DVA).


  • Assess child mental health assets and needs, social determinants,socio-economic factors and parental profiles to gain a comprehensive understanding of the mental health dynamics of children and families exposed to DVA.
  • To implement and evaluate the interRAI ChYMH, a new innovative approach to assessment and practice that will offer a holistic systemto identify child and family needs, so that evidence-informed care planning interventions can be employed in a timely, effective manner.
  • To strengthen the capacity of practitioners and organizations at the community level to address the health of victims of DVA using trauma-informed care
  • To enhance early detection, prevention, monitoring and intervention of developmental issues and mental health problems, improve consistency and continuity of care and potentially reduce the use of inappropriate services.
  • To enhance and expand integration across community services for victims of DVA, with an emphasis on collaborative models.


Building Awareness and Capacity

  • Initial training to sites to facilitate early identification of children, youth and families exposed to DVA to facilitate integrated trauma-informed knowledge to practice.

Trauma-informed intervention using Collaborative Action Plans

  • Assessment of children and youth between the ages of 4 and 18 that will consist of youth exposed to DVA and youth not exposed to DVA.
  • Implementation of Collaborative Action Plans (evidence-based guidelines) related to areas of high need for children assessed using the interRAI ChYMH, using a trauma-informed lens.


  • Evaluation of the training/booster sessions, assessment and the interRAI ChYMH Collaborative Action Plans (CAPs) implementation through focus groups, feedback forms and questionnaires.
  • The collected data will be analyzed to determine if the CAPs improved outcomes for children and youth exposed to DVA.

Knowledge Exchanges

  • At the end of the study, several knowledge exchange initiatives will be completed including the presentation of results at conferences, and a knowledge exchange meeting with stakeholders.
  • Throughout the length of the project, researchers will support all partners in translating knowledge into practice with a high level of engagement.



Western Univeristy Logo Western University is a public research university in London, Ontario


interRAI, Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI), Kinark Child and Family Services, Merrymount – Family Support and Crisis Centre, London Family Court Clinic.


Spring/Summer 2017

  • The project is currently in the process of developing and reviewing the training modules for the use of the interRAI Child and Youth Mental Health (ChYMH) assessment Collaborative Action Plans (evidence- informed guidelines) from a trauma-informed lens.