A Healthier Wisconsin

Integrating Trauma Screening and SBIRT into W-2 Case Management Services

Helping parents and pregnant women who are low income obtain and retain employment in 16 Wisconsin counties

Full Project Name:Integrating Trauma Screening and SBIRT to Enhance W-2 Case Management ServicesPrimary Community Organization:Workforce Resource, Inc.Primary Academic Partner:Leslie Ruffalo, PhD, MS, Family MedicineAward Amount:$400,000.00
Award Date
Project Duration:36 months

Project Description Narrative:

Wisconsin Works (W-2) is a Wisconsin Department of Children and Families program that provides employment preparation services, case management, and cash assistance to parents and pregnant women who are low income. Data has shown that poverty in adulthood is linked to depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and psychological distress, making it very difficult to secure employment let alone maintain employment. Although participants are surveyed at intake regarding their mental health needs, there has been no emphasis on how participants' mental health needs impact their ability to attain and retain employment while enrolled in W-2.

This project will integrate the trauma-screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (T-SBIRT) protocol into case management processes to promote participants' resilience in responding to trauma, accessing mental health services, managing emotions with healthy coping skills, and success in obtaining and retaining employment. During the first year, T-SBIRT will be piloted in Ashland and Eau Claire Counties with the goal to expand to 14 additional counties (Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Iron, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix and Washburn).

Project Updates:

  • Completed pilot project in Ashland and Eau Claire Counties, resulted in a total of 97 screenings and 35 of the 78 W-2 participants who screened positive for a history of trauma accepting referrals to trauma recovery services
  • Expanded the T-SBIRT protocol into remaining counties that Workforce Resource serves
  • Completed one-on-one interviews with financial employment (FEPs) and W-2 screeners who were involved in the pilot and preliminary findings indicate that FEPs feel that the T-SBIRT protocol is valuable and that they have received adequate training to complete the screening tool

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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
(414) 955-4350