A Blueprint for Using Data to Reduce Disparities/ Disproportionalities in Human Services and Behavioral Health Care

Communities and states across the country are developing and implementing effective strategies to reduce Disparities and Disproportionalities (D&D). In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its first-ever HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. An overarching priority in this plan is to assess the impact of federal investments, such as grants, on the reduction of disparities in communities across the country. A Blueprint for Using Data to Reduce Disparities/Disproportionalities in Human Services and Behavioral Health Care (Blueprint) will be a useful tool to address this Secretarial priority and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disparity Impact Strategy.

The Blueprint describes a framework and multistep process to reduce D&D in your community or state. The steps are (1) readiness, (2) community engagement, (3) identification, (4) assessment, (5) intervention, (6) evaluation/continuous quality improvement, (7) replication, and (8) sustainability.

The stages are adapted from the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Model found in the OJJDP Technical Assistance Manual, although the general processes can be used across child-serving systems.

The process for developing and implementing strategies in communities and states to reduce D&D should be data driven and requires significant planning, monitoring, and coordination. The Blueprint presents a guided, step-by-step process to help you successfully develop and implement strategies.

Population of focus: Community based organizations and other organizations conducting research in behavioral health

Link to resource: The Blueprint on The Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health website

Date: 2013

Organization: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration