Jackson Bunch, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology
Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care in Montana
Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care (LSOC) for Children and Youth is a six-year demonstration project with a mandate to help facilitate the identification and treatment of young victims and their families. LSOC partners include the U.S. Office for Victims of Crime, the Montana Board of Crime Control, the University of Montana Criminology Research Group, and stakeholders from across the state.
LSOC’s work starts with the identification of trauma and victimization in youth. It is with this in mind, the project team is working to implement use of the Montana Experiences and Expressions Screener (EES) in pilot sites statewide. The EES, comprised of 25 questions, was constructed upon extensive academic research and data gathering from national experts and statewide service providers.
Research findings from Montana EES administration will be used to identify the prevalence of victimization and trauma in Montana children. Young people who show signs of abuse and trauma through screening and their families will be referred to services deemed appropriate to help foster resilience and recovery. Examples of services facilitated through Montana EES screening include mental health care, parenting classes, and transitional housing assistance for survivors of domestic violence.
By facilitating access to services and coordination within and among child-serving organizations, the LSOC team and partners seek to help heal children affected by early adversities and their families. LSOC’s directive to increase trauma readiness and trauma training across the state will further aid in the provision of more consistent care.
The first LSOC pilot sites launched in Mineral County. The project is also screening youth from Carter, Custer, Fallon, Garfield, Powder River, Rosebud, Treasure, Ravalli, Silver Bow, Cascade, Gallatin, Lake, Sanders, and Missoula counties. LSOC is currently working to launch additional screening projects in organizations across the state.
In the project’s current phase, the team is working to identify additional community partners to pilot test Montana EES. We are also seeking new community allies to help support youth screened and their families.
Crime Control Bureau Chief
University of Montana