Goals and Objectives
The goals of CASA’s Research Department are in alignment with the stated strategic goals outlined in CASA’s business plan:
- Quality: To develop and foster a culture of evidence-based practice through research and evaluation.
- Access: To disseminate new and promising research and evaluatios findings.
- Sustainability: To contribute to leading-edge research through major advancements in the treatment and understanding of children’s mental illness.
Produce concrete and specific outcomes that enhance the broader scientific understanding of children’s mental health.
Employees at CASA are urged to evaluate, publish, and disseminate scientific materials pertaining to programs and areas of interest relevant to the field of children’s mental health. This includes, but is not limited to, improving our understanding of factors affecting our programs (e.g., wait times; patient flow; treatment outcomes; etc.). Program Theory documentation is being developed for every CASA program, explaining the background, scientific base, and guiding principles of “why we do what we do”.
Integrate biological, social, and/or clinical research via strategic research partnerships.
Partnerships enhance CASA’s ability to identify needs and priorities important to the broader system. The Research Team collaborates with other agencies, funders, government, and the health sector in developing programs and strategies which are aligned with the needs of both the broader system and our families. In particular, building partnerships is key to the biopsychosocial approach, and we strive to develop interdisciplinary, multisectoral linkages wherever possible. Partnerships with our children and their families also need to be preserved, giving these individuals input into research processes, reviews, and recommendations. This will ensure that our programs and research remain relevant to the families we serve.
Translate research and evaluation findings into clinically relevant recommendations for ongoing benefit from evidence-based information.
CASA’s programs and services reflect evidence-based practice wherever possible. CASA understands it is vitally important to foster a culture of continuous learning and quality improvement. As such, staff are supported in their efforts to gather new knowledge and integrate it into practice – through attendance in workshops and videoconferences, journal clubs, training events, and formalized research projects. Day-to-day involvement in aspects of the evaluation process is also key. Involvement in data collection helps to ensure that staff are sensitive to what kind of information is and isn’t being gathered, potential redundancies, inaccuracies, and ways to improve data collection. Continuous retraining efforts, to ensure consistency and accuracy, are also emphasized.
Adherence to Research Standards and Practices
CASA adheres to the strictest ethical, safety and security guidelines for the data it gathers. This means that all staff ensure that individual-level, identifiable data is stored in a secure fashion, and that information flow between areas of the organization conforms to established privacy guidelines.
Effective knowledge translation and dissemination
CASA recognizes its role in the research process as encompassing the information needs of stakeholders including e.g., Alberta Health and Wellness (AHW), Alberta Health Services (AHS), the child, adolescent and family mental health research community, and the families we serve. Dissemination efforts should be audience-appropriate, encompass both best and promising practices, and make efficient use of partner organizations where possible.