Benchmarks

Benchmarks Benchmarks is an alliance of agencies committed to leadership, quality and accountability.
Benchmarks provides a unified and expert voice on child welfare, mental health, substance use and intellectual/developmental disabilities issues. Benchmarks understands behavioral health and what is necessary to effectively influence the various aspects of the human services network including the local and state entities, private and public provider and funding sources that are a part of this system.

Benchmarks is a non-profit association of provider agencies advocating for quality and accountability among human service providers so that North Carolina’s children, adults and families can realize their full potential, contribute to their communities and live healthy lives. Who We Are: Quality Agencies Delivering Results With nearly 90 member agencies, Benchmarks has an extensive vetting process for membership that includes national accreditation, good standing reviews from DHHS and provider references. We do not accept member agencies that cannot meet our rigorous standards, and thus we represent the most highly qualified North Carolina providers producing the strongest outcomes in the areas of child welfare, mental health, intellectual/developmental disabilities and substance abuse. What We Do: Partner to Bring About Needed Solutions Benchmarks brings expertise in research, policy and practice to North Carolina policy leaders so they can develop the common sense solutions needed to improve the functioning and accountability of our state’s health and human services system. Benchmarks’ expertise includes: • On the ground experience of our nearly ninety provider members and their leadership in delivering high quality services within the current policy and practice landscape; • A unique combination of over 100 years of collective staff experience translating research to practice, conducting policy advocacy, and providing services in the fields of mental health, child welfare, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. Our activities focus on : • Partnership development across the continuum of care at the state and local levels, including a strong, proactive partnership with DHHS and the legislature to improve outcomes for children, adults and families through high quality, research-based services; • A professional education program serving providers across North Carolina through on-line and on-site training; • Providing support for Benchmarks members before the legislature and state agencies on policy and implementation issues impacting member services, consumers and funding Please read more about our association, including our updates and membership process, by visiting our website www.benchmarksnc.org.

Mission: Benchmarks is a non-profit association of provider agencies advocating for quality and accountability among human service providers so that North Carolina’s children, adults and families can realize their full potential, contribute to their communities and live healthy lives.

The ongoing legislative cuts to the behavioral health managed care programs (LME/MCOs) have eaten up their savings and r...
02/26/2020
Vaya Health cuts will impact hundreds in WNC

The ongoing legislative cuts to the behavioral health managed care programs (LME/MCOs) have eaten up their savings and reserve and now we are seeing the impact directly to care. We must stop legislative cuts to the mental health managed care systems! #careforNC

Health officials confirmed Tuesday that hundreds of people in Western North Carolina will experience cuts to their mental health care coverage. WLOS. The cuts are coming from Vaya Health. Officials said they will be rolled out within 30 days. Vaya Health CEO Brian Ingraham said they decided on the c...

Positive Childhood Experiences and Adult Mental and Relational Health in a Statewide Sample Associations Across Adverse ...
02/25/2020
Positive and Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adult Mental and Relational Health

Positive Childhood Experiences and Adult Mental and Relational Health in a Statewide Sample Associations Across Adverse Childhood Experiences Levels.


Associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and risks for adult depression, poor mental health, and insufficient social and emotional support have been documented. Less is known about how positive childhood experiences (PCEs) co-occur with and may modulate the effect of ACEs on adult mental and relational health…Positive childhood experiences show dose-response associations with D/PMH and ARSES after accounting for exposure to ACEs. The proactive promotion of PCEs for children may reduce risk for adult D/PMH and promote adult relational health. Joint assessment of PCEs and ACEs may better target needs and interventions and enable a focus on building strengths to promote well-being. Findings support prioritizing possibilities to foster safe, stable nurturing relationships for children that consider the health outcomes of positive experiences.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2749336

Positive Childhood Experiences May Buffer Against Health Effects Of Adverse OnesFirst of all, we did find that positive ...
02/24/2020
Positive Childhood Experiences May Buffer Against Health Effects Of Adverse Ones

Positive Childhood Experiences May Buffer Against Health Effects Of Adverse Ones

First of all, we did find that positive reports on any one of the seven types of positive experiences we assessed were indeed associated with lower rates of mental health problems and higher rates of having relationships as an adult where you get the social and emotional support you need. Yet, as we hypothesized, the biggest effect was when we counted up how many of these experiences were reported — just like it's done on all those other studies on adverse childhood experiences.

We see that accumulation of positive experiences, just like the accumulation of adverse experiences, really packs a punch. Getting into the numbers, we found that having higher counts of those positive experiences was associated with 72% lower odds of having depression or poor mental health overall as an adult. We also found that those with higher levels of positive experiences were over 3 1/2 times more likely to have all the social and emotional support they needed as an adult.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/09/09/759031061/positive-childhood-experiences-may-buffer-against-health-effects-of-adverse-ones

Researchers asked adults to reflect back on their happy childhood memories. They found those who recalled more were less likely to have depression in adulthood and had more supportive relationships.

02/23/2020
CBS News

CBS News

Eight-year-old Robbie Gay always roots for the “underdog,” by taking in the oldest, mangiest and least-adoptable dogs.

He, too, struggled before finding a loving home and is trying to pay it forward, On the Road with Steve Hartman reports: https://cbsn.ws/3bW2R7i

Seven Early Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) with Potential Benefits in AdulthoodBelow are the seven items on the p...
02/21/2020
Seven Early Experiences with Potential Benefits in Adulthood

Seven Early Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) with Potential Benefits in Adulthood

Below are the seven items on the positive childhood experience (PCEs) psychometric analysis. For each item, respondents are asked to respond "yes" or "no" to a prompt, "Before the age of 18, I was..."

1. Able to talk with my family about my feelings.
2, Felt that my family stood by me during difficult times.
3. Enjoyed participating in community traditions.
4. Felt a sense of belonging in high school.
5. Felt supported by friends.
6. Had at least two non-parent adults who took a genuine interest in me.
7. Felt safe and protected by an adult in my home.

Now that you know the seven PCEs, how many times did you answer "yes" on this seven-item survey? The higher your score, the more positive childhood experiences you had based on this psychometric analysis. According to the researchers, "This study designed, tested, and used a new positive childhood experiences measure that showed a dose-response relationship between how many positive experiences adults reported and their mental and relational health. This new "cumulative positive" design captures aggregate experiences in the same way adverse childhood experiences measure 'cumulative risk.'"

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201909/seven-early-experiences-potential-benefits-in-adulthood

Seven positive childhood experiences are linked to better adult mental health.

Pride in North Carolina, LLC
02/17/2020

Pride in North Carolina, LLC

Helpful tips for recognizing signs of anxiety in children.

We must do better to make sure our officers are trained to respond appropriately to people in a mental health crisis. To...
02/17/2020
Lincoln Co. deputy off the job after WBTV investigation into assault on teen

We must do better to make sure our officers are trained to respond appropriately to people in a mental health crisis. Too often their behavior is misunderstood and met with aggression and violence rather than compassion and support.
Hospitals, enforcement officers, and behavioral health professionals should work together in their communities to put intervention plans in place that make sure this scenario NEVER plays out again. #carefornc

A Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy left the sheriff’s office following a WBTV investigation into the deputy’s use of force on a 16-year-old outside an emergency room.

02/14/2020
news.unchealthcare.org

"Current Issues in Developmental Disability Advocacy:What’s Happening and What You Can Do"

What a wonderful opportunity!
02/09/2020

What a wonderful opportunity!

Now Accepting Applications!

Young leaders who have lived experience in the child welfare system (including foster care, adoption, and kinship/relative care) and are between the ages of 18-26 are eligible to apply.

Apply: https://forms.gle/5g5i2zJC9VdPuqkv8
Learn more about Council Member responsibilities: www.nationalpolicycouncil.org

Deadline: Feb. 20, 2020

This is a great opportunity for any foster youth that have an interest in politics!
01/19/2020

This is a great opportunity for any foster youth that have an interest in politics!

Only FOUR days left to apply to FYI 2020!! Apply now through this Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 11PM EST at http://ccainstitute.org/programs/view/foster-youth-internship-apply.

The FYI Program began in 2003 as an effort to raise awareness to federal policymakers about the needs and unique perspectives of young adults who spent time in U.S. foster care. This is an immersive nine-week, educational, and civic experience as Foster Youth Interns are placed in congressional office internships & work together to create a federal child welfare policy report that is presented to the U.S. Congress, White House, HHS, and private sector as well as released to policymakers and advocates across the country. Interns participating in the FYI Program benefit both personally and professionally, gaining experience and skills that will bolster their careers for years to come. #FosteringPolicy

Details on eligibility, application instructions, and more can be found at www.ccainstitute.org.

Adoption is a sacred act of love and a testament to the power of FAMILY! Thank you CHS for all you do to find forever ho...
01/15/2020
‘I’m not going to sugar coat it. His file is so big, no one will even look at it anymore.’ He was pencil thin, eyes sunken so deep. He was ours.’: Couple adopts 16-year-old runaway after his birth mom called police on him, ‘His story didn

Adoption is a sacred act of love and a testament to the power of FAMILY! Thank you CHS for all you do to find forever homes for youth in foster care.

“She was dancing around the facts, and we could tell. She wanted to see if we would scare. He'd run from his previous placement, was failing all of his classes. She had no other place to turn. We asked to FaceTime him. We saw the emptiness in his eyes and the face of a kid who didn't even know wha...

Methodist Home for Children works hard every day to build strong bright futures for our youth. Thank you MHC for being a...
01/13/2020

Methodist Home for Children works hard every day to build strong bright futures for our youth. Thank you MHC for being a part of the work to #carefornc !!!

Today we are celebrating with Shavonna who closed 2019 by graduating cm laude. 2020 is already promising to be a great year for her - she's starting her first job and making plans for graduate school.Congratulations, Shavonna! We can't wait to see what you do next!

The Bair Foundation of North Carolina Christian Foster Care & Adoption
01/10/2020

The Bair Foundation of North Carolina Christian Foster Care & Adoption

Be the shelter in the time of a storm.

Children are in foster care because their families are going through a crisis. Can you be the shelter in this very real storm by providing a temporary safe haven?

To Learn more about becoming a foster parent for The Bair Foundation, call Brianna at (828) 350-5197 or email her at [email protected] for information . For your convenience, you can also request a free packet through our website. https://fpi.bair.org/Inquiry.aspx?Office_ID=4

Children's Home Society of NC
01/10/2020

Children's Home Society of NC

There is a superhero in all of us, we just need the courage to put on the cape.

Become a foster or adoptive parent today: chsnc.org/foster

#Family #Foster #Adopt #mentorIRL #MentorMonth #CHS4families

We wanted to wish our very own Tara Fields a very happy birthday today! For those that don’t know her she has been a par...
01/09/2020

We wanted to wish our very own Tara Fields a very happy birthday today!

For those that don’t know her she has been a part of Benchmarks as Chief Operations Officer (COO) since November 2009. In this role, she advocates for the needs of children, adults and families and supportive state policies, legislation and funding for services. Tara’s passion is focusing on member needs related to ensuring NC rules/regulations and policy recommendations that ensure quality services. She is also here to help with outstanding receivables, trouble-shooting, funding, and best practices. In addition, she is steadfast in coaching and supporting staff involved in our grant-funded projects, communications, HR, and finance.

Prior to this position, Tara was the Director of Operations for 16 years for American Human Services, Inc. (AHS), an agency that provided services in the community for children, adults and families. Tara began her work in the field working with children and adults in residential settings and expanded her experience leading AHS through the development for new services, national accreditation and licensure.

After Bryce Gowdy’s suicide, let’s elevate the conversation about poverty’s effects on youth | Commentary
01/07/2020
After Bryce Gowdy’s suicide, let’s elevate the conversation about poverty’s effects on youth | Commentary

After Bryce Gowdy’s suicide, let’s elevate the conversation about poverty’s effects on youth | Commentary

The tragic suicide of rising football star Bryce Gowdy leaves me wondering if we’re failing to have a meaningful conversation about poverty and its connection to the 73 percent increase in self-reported suicide attempts among black teenagers from 1991 to 2017 according to the Journal Pediatrics.

Monarch
01/04/2020

Monarch

The NAMI provides topics to avoid for parents of children navigating mental illness. Read how parents of a son or daughter balancing mental health care can speak up and better advocate. http://ow.ly/ImOp50xEBLd

2019 New Mobility Person of the Year: Karen Braitmayer
01/04/2020
2019 New Mobility Person of the Year: Karen Braitmayer

2019 New Mobility Person of the Year: Karen Braitmayer

Gazing down at architect Karen Braitmayer from her living room wall is a depiction of the Hindu God Ganesh, remover of obstacles. Photo by © Moris Moreno. Karen Braitmayer is a certified architect, a wheelchair user with osteogenesis imperfecta and the founder of

Children's Hope Alliance
01/03/2020

Children's Hope Alliance

When 6 year-old Daxton first came to CHA foster parents Nathan and Ashley's home, he had already been through 7 failed placements with other agencies. He didn't yet know what "family" really meant. What Daxton learned helped him to find his forever family. WATCH HIS STORY HERE: https://youtu.be/jQuAISVrp-Y

Help more kids like Daxton - http://ow.ly/CaCx50xM1sh

12/30/2019
Nancy's Story

Another fantastic video highlighting why we Care For NC, this time coming from our friends at Eastpointe.

https://youtu.be/rGgSS6mAe-o

Inspired by a family member, Nancy's passion is helping law enforcement and first responders care for those with behavioral health needs. In addition to serv...

NC legislators have been trying to agree for years on how to financially support independent living for adults with sign...
12/27/2019
‘What happens when we die?’ NC parents seek housing for adult children with disabilities

NC legislators have been trying to agree for years on how to financially support independent living for adults with significant disabilities. We need to value our differently-abled individuals within our communities and develop consistent funding to allow them to flourish in communities and stay out of institutions. NC legislators must stop taking the Medicaid behavioral healthcare savings to use for other government spending and instead reinvest it back into the system to improve care as it was originally intended. #carefornc

Community organizations in the Triangle like HOPE, PACID and PACT are being formed to help families find housing for adult children with intellectual or developmental disabilities like autism and Down syndrome.

Coastal Horizons Center
12/26/2019

Coastal Horizons Center

Happy Holidays from our family to yours! May you all have a wonderful and restful time of celebration with those you are...
12/24/2019

Happy Holidays from our family to yours! May you all have a wonderful and restful time of celebration with those you are close with.

CBT for social anxiety may have a protective effect on cells
12/22/2019
CBT for social anxiety may have a protective effect on cells

CBT for social anxiety may have a protective effect on cells

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for patients with social anxiety not only helps to reduce anxiety levels but also seems to protect against accelerated cellular ageing, a study involving researchers at Karolinska Institutet published in the journal Translational Psychiatry reports.

12/22/2019
Imani's Story

An amazing Care For NC story that came out of Benchmarks’ provider agency Monarch: https://youtu.be/dz1AbAAMNaY

Imani is a bright-eyed, compassionate 12-year-old girl with hopes of making a difference in the world. With suicidal ideations, Imani came to the SECU Youth ...

Family First Act is transforming the child welfare system on a national level and consequently will drastically change h...
12/21/2019
Home | FamilyFirstAct.org

Family First Act is transforming the child welfare system on a national level and consequently will drastically change how the state handles it as well. To keep track of what’s going on and to learn more check out the site below: https://familyfirstact.org/

We have the ability to free the next generation of young people who experience foster care and enable them to become the best versions of themselves. Children in foster care must be provided proper environments to develop and the best treatment available to overcome the trauma they’ve experienced.

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2609 Atlantic Ave, Ste 105
Raleigh, NC
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