The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in New York City, an affiliate of the National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services, has launched the Center for the Advancement of Critical Time Intervention. The Center aims to coordinate and mobilize the efforts of providers, trainers, researchers, and funders to promote uptake of Critical Time Intervention (CTI) through ongoing collaboration, information sharing, advocacy, and research.
CTI is an empirically supported, time-limited, case management model designed to prevent homelessness and foster recovery among vulnerable people during periods of significant transition. During such periods, which may include both the move from an institution to the community as well as the transition from homelessness to housing, people often have difficulty re-establishing themselves with access to needed supports. CTI works in two main ways: by providing direct emotional and practical assistance during the critical time of transition and by strengthening the individual’s ties to services and ongoing social supports. Despite its time-limited approach, CTI aims to exert a long-term impact through building enduring connections to sources of support that will remain in place after the intervention ends.
Originally developed with significant support from the National Institute of Mental Health, CTI has been subjected to numerous tests of its impact, including multiple randomized trials. On the strength of this evidence, CTI is listed in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Policies and Programs and the Best Practices Portal of the Public Health Agency of Canada. The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy recently recognized the model as meeting its most rigorous “top tier” standard as an intervention “shown in well-designed and implemented randomized controlled trials, preferably conducted in typical community settings, to produce sizable, sustained benefits to participants and/or society.”
Professor Daniel Herman, who has been leading research and dissemination activities related to CTI for the past decade, directs the Center. “We are very excited to finally have a ‘home base’ for the model, which we can use to help build capacity among providers to effectively adapt and implement CTI with a variety of populations at high risk of homelessness and other adverse outcomes,” Herman says. “We look forward to working with members of the National Center to build interest in CTI in social work schools nationally and the community agencies they work with.”
Blog Post Author: Amanda Aykanian, Research and Project Lead at the National Center
Special thanks to Dan Herman for contributing to the content of this blog post.