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.