What is Project BEST?

Project BEST is a state-wide collaborative effort to use innovative community-based dissemination, training, and implementation methods to dramatically increase the capacity of every community in South Carolina to deliver evidence-supported mental health treatments (ESTs) to every abused and traumatized child who needs them.

The long-term goal of Project BEST is to ensure that all South Carolina children and their families, who are identified as having experienced abuse and resulting trauma, receive appropriate, evidence supported mental health assessment and psychosocial treatment services.

Many children in South Carolina have been victims of violence and abuse and suffer from mental health problems as a result. Consequently, service organizations need to be able to deliver effective, evidence-supported treatment to these children. Project BEST involves teaching clinicians how to do ESTs and enabling brokers of mental health services to identify and refer appropriate children for treatment, incorporate ESTs into their treatment planning, and monitor treatment progress. Project BEST provides the training and ongoing consultation needed to build the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver ESTs and do Evidence-Based Treatment Planning and Case Management. Participating Community Change Teams work to identify and overcome barriers to implementing and sustaining the use of ESTs in the community. The initial treatment being implemented by Project BEST is Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).

Project BEST is coordinated by the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center in Charleston, SC and the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC.