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Key Words/Glossary

ARC Availability, Responsiveness, and Continuity:
An evidence-based organizational change strategy that 1) introduces principles to guide priorities, 2) incorporates research-based organizational components to improve effectiveness, and 3) fosters shared mental models to support innovation and improved client outcomes.

ARC Institute on Organizational Social Context:
The ARC Institute provides research-proven, practical tools and techniques that organizations, communities and states can use to improve the cultures, climates and outcomes of mental health, child welfare and social service systems.

ARC Specialist:
A trained organizational consultant who coordinates and supports the implementation of the ARC change strategy in an organization. The specialist provides training, mentoring, consultation, and ongoing monitoring.

EBP (see evidence-based practice)
EBT (see evidence-based treatment)

Evidence-based management:
Behaving as a manager based on research and facts.

Evidence-based practice (EBP):
An interdisciplinary approach to practice guided by the basic principle that all practice decisions should be based on evidence from empirical research characterized by reliability and validity.

Evidence-based treatment (EBT):
A treatment that is determined to be efficacious for a specific problem and population.

Mental models:
Deeply held internal images or representations of how the world works that are underscored by deeply held assumptions and beliefs, and that guide interpretation of stimuli and reactions to events.

National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW):
In the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996, Congress directed the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a national study of children at risk of abuse or neglect or in the child welfare system, including a longitudinal component to follow cases for a period of several years, designed to yield reliable state-level data for as many states as feasible. This led to the Administration for Children and Families undertaking the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW).

NSCAW (see National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being)
OAT (see Organizational Action Team)

Organizational climate:
A shared perception among organizational members of the psychological impact of the work environment on their well-being.

Organizational culture:
The shared norms, beliefs, and behavioral expectations that drive behavior in organizations, often characterized as “the ways things are done around here.”

Organizational effectiveness:
The degree to which an organization achieves its mission.

Organizational social context:
The shared expectations, perceptions and attitudes of service providers in an organization. A positive organizational social context is essential in order to maintain positive and effective relationships between service providers and clients, enhance adoption of new technologies such as evidence-based practices, and maintain an overall atmosphere of availability, responsiveness and continuity of services.

Organizational Social Context (OSC) Measure:
The OSC Measure is a 105-item survey administered to front-line staff/clinicians that accurately assesses their organization’s culture, climate and work attitudes. The dimensions of engagement, functionality and stress compose the climate profile, and the dimensions of proficiency, rigidity and resistance compose the culture profile. Job satisfaction and organizational commitment compose the work attitudes profile.

OSC Measure national norms:
Two national normative samples exist for the OSC Measure. Both samples are based on population density maps of the United States (i.e., more agencies were sampled from more highly populated areas) and are geographically comprehensive across most of the 50 states. The first normative sample includes 100 mental health agencies that provide services to children and their families. The second normative sample includes 81 child welfare agencies. Over 2,700 line-level staff completed the OSC-M for the two national normative samples.

SAC (see Shortform Assessment for Children)

Shortform Assessment for Children (SAC):
A 48-item behavioral checklist for children that is completed by an adult who knows the child well (usually a parent/guardian) to assess the child’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Completed in less than 5 minutes and easily scored via the internet, the SAC compares a child to both a general population of youth and to a juvenile justice (or “at risk”) population of youth.

A strategy that combines the use of small groups and games to enhance learning.

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