Spectrum Human Services, Inc. continues to demonstrate a commitment to excellence in innovative program development and to the ongoing discovery of knowledge in the human and social services. To this end, funding is sought to support specific research-based and innovative projects each year and scholarly publications are developed to disseminate important findings and generate new ideas in the field.

A Commitment to Evidence-Based Practice

Major Projects:

Addressing Trauma Among Females in the Child Welfare System
Continuing Spectrum’s commitment to evidence-based treatment and addressing trauma among the most vulnerable individuals, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is being provided to child welfare-involved adolescents. The two-year project, funded in part by the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, includes a rigorous evaluation, further allowing Spectrum to learn more about the effects of established treatment models on specific populations. Approximately 100 young women will be able to participate in the specialized treatment, and the knowledge gleaned from the results will be used to inform future trauma treatment approaches. The project will continue through 2022.

This marks Spectrum’s fourth major treatment delivery and outcomes evaluation project focused specifically on evidence-based trauma treatment for children and adolescents.

Addressing Trauma among Male Court-Involved Adolescents
Spectrum recently completed a two year project aimed at effectively addressing trauma among court-involved male adolescents. An assessment-driven approach to treatment was implemented to provide evidence-based treatment to those with significant trauma-related symptoms. More than 200 young men were able to receive the specialized treatment. A comprehensive outcomes evaluation is currently underway, with results anticipated by the end of 2020. The Ethel and James Flinn Foundation provided partial funding for the project.

Implementing a Company-Wide Trauma-Focused Environment
Spectrum Child and Family Services recently completed designing and implementing a trauma-focused environment throughout all of its programs. The year-long project involved the participation all employees and resulted in a transformed service delivery, better equipped to most effectively address the needs of individuals served. Additional funding support for the project was provided by the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation.

Implementing Developmentally-Focused Treatment in Juvenile Justice
Spectrum is also currently implementing an empirically-guided treatment program in its residential programs for adolescent offenders. The Forward-Focused Model© is a cutting edge treatment based on the most recent research and best practices in juvenile justice. The comprehensive, prescribed treatment model addresses the complex needs of adolescents, including brain development and other developmental needs, trauma and co-occurring issues, among others.

Reentry Program Nationally Recognized as a Promising Practice
The Wayne County Second Chance Reentry Project, a county-wide collaborative effort led by Spectrum Human Services, Inc. and Central Care Management Organization, has been nationally recognized as a promising practice by the National Institute of Justice and is now available through CrimeSolutions.gov, the evidence-based repository of promising practices in justice programs. The project that was implemented initially in Spectrum’s residential treatment facilities followed by the region’s community-based providers, used a dosage-based treatment model to support youth from residential treatment through the first six months of community reintegration. The program resulted in reducing recidivism by approximately 50%.

Transforming the Treatment of Justice-Involved Youth in Residential Care
Spectrum transformed its residential treatment programming for male adolescents, implementing the Forward-Focused Model© in both of its facilities. The empirically-guided treatment model was first implemented across the California state system to treat adolescents with the most serious behavior problems, and is based on the current research and best practices in juvenile justice. The comprehensive, prescribed treatment model addresses the complex needs of adolescents, including brain development and other developmental needs, trauma and co-occurring issues, and promotes the pro-social development of detained youth.

Eliminating Sexual Misconduct
Spectrum was among the first juvenile justice providers in the nation to successfully achieve compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). As a result of funding support from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Spectrum promulgated new policies and procedures, provided training, and created cultures of zero tolerance for sexual assault, abuse, or harassment of detained youth.


Recently Published Research

  • Calleja, N. G. (2019). An investigation into the impact of functional impairment and risk level on adolescent recidivism. Journal of Applied Juvenile Justice Services. Published February, 2020: http://npjs.org/jajjs/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/An-Investigation-of-the-Impact-of-Functional-Impairment.pdf
  • Calleja, N. G. (2019). Assessing and treating trauma in detained adolescent offenders: An effectiveness evaluation. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma. Doi:.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01564-9
  • Calleja, N. G. (2019). Translating research into practice: Designing effective reentry strategies for adolescent offenders. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 44, 18-23. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2018.11.003
  • Calleja, N. G. & Dadah, A. M. (2018). Addressing faulty prescribing practices of psychotropic medication among court-involved children and adolescents. The Family Journal, 1-8. doi: 10.177/1066480717752899
  • Calleja, N. G., Dadah, A. M., Fisher, J., & Fernandez, M. (2016). Reducing juvenile recidivism through specialized reentry services. Journal of Juvenile Justice, 1-12.
  • Calleja, N. G. (2016). Deconstructing a puzzling relationship: Sex offender legislation and the crimes that inspired it, and sustained moral panic. Justice Policy Journal, 13(1), 1-17.
  • Calleja, N. G. (2014). Juvenile sexual and non-sexual offenders: A comparison of recidivism and risk. Journal of Addiction and Offender Counseling, 36(1), 2-12. DOI: 10.1002/j.2161-1874.2015.00031.x
  • Calleja, N. G. (2013). Integrating research into practice: The Forward-Focused Model of adolescent sexual behavior treatment. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18, 686-694. Doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2013.07.023
  • Alavi, Z., & Calleja, N. G. (2012). Use of psychotropic medications in the child welfare system: Causes, consequences, and proposed solutions. Child Welfare, 91(2), 77-94.
  • Calley, N. G. (2012). Juvenile offender recidivism: An examination of risk. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21, 257-272.
  • Calley, N. G. & Richardson, E. M. (2011). Clinical prediction-making: Examining Influential factors related to clinician prediction making of recidivism among juvenile offenders. The Journal of Addiction and Offender Counseling, 32, 2-15.

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