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The Center for Behavioral Health Research has developed and tested an original organizational change strategy, labeled ARC for Availability, Responsiveness, and Continuity. ARC is the only organizational change strategy that has been tested in child welfare and mental health agencies across multiple Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs). RCTs of ARC have been conducted in the midwest, northeast, and southeast regions of the United States and include organizations in both rural and urban areas. These RCTs, funded by NIMH and the W.T. Grant Foundation, show that ARC improves organizational culture and climate, increases job satisfaction and commitment, supports the adoption and success of EBPs, reduces staff turnover, and improves clients’ outcomes.

ARC supports innovation and improves effectiveness with three strategies and the support of an “external change agent” called the ARC specialist. The first ARC strategy embeds five principles of service system effectiveness that focus organizations’ priority setting. The second ARC strategy promotes shared mental models among front-line staff and administrators that support service innovation. The third ARC strategy uses organizational component tools to identify and address barriers to service improvement and effectiveness.



Glisson, C., Hemmelgarn, A., Green, P., Williams, N. (2013). Randomized Trial of the Availability, Responsiveness and Continuity (ARC) Organizational Intervention for Improving Youth Outcomes in Community Mental Health Programs. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 52(5), 493-500.

Glisson, C., Hemmelgarn, A., Green, P., Dukes, D., Atkinson, S., and Williams, N.(2012). Randomized Trial of the ARC Organizational Intervention with Community-Based Mental Health Programs and Clinicians Serving Youth. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 51(8), 780-787.

Glisson, C., Schoenwald, S.K., Hemmelgarn, A.L., Green, P.D., Dukes, D., Armstrong, K.S., and Chapman, J.E. 2010. Randomized Trial of MST and ARC in a Two-Level Evidence-Based Treatment Implementation Strategy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78 (4),537-550.

Glisson, C. 2008. Interventions with Organizations: The ARC Model. In K. Sowers and C. Dulmus (Eds.), The Comprehensive Handbook of Social Work and Social Welfare. John Wiley & Sons.

Glisson, C. 2007. Assessing and Changing Organizational Culture and Climate for Effective Services. Research on Social Work Practice, 17, 736-747.

Glisson, C., Dukes, D., and Green, P.D. 2006. The Effects of the ARC Organizational Intervention on Caseworker Turnover, Climate, and Culture in Children’s Service Systems. Child Abuse & Neglect, 30, 855-880.

Hemmelgarn, A. L., Glisson, C., and James, L.R. 2006. Organizational Culture and Climate: Implications for Services and Intervention Research. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 13(1), 73-89.

Glisson, C., and Schoenwald, S.K. 2005. The ARC Organizational and Community Intervention Strategy for Implementing Evidence-Based Children’s Mental Health Treatments. Mental Health Services Research, 7(4), 243-259.

Glisson, C. 2002. The Organizational Context of Children’s Mental Health Services. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 5(4), 233-253.

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