Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





William Kornblum

Committee Members

Gerald Handel

Charles Kadushin

Subject Categories



This study describes the planning, development and implementation of the on-site school mental health program, an innovative mental health services program for schoolchildren in New York City. The program, developed jointly by the New York City Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Alcoholism Services and the New York City Board of Education in 1982, was fully implemented in 1986. This study uses data gathered via the method of participant-observation (the author was employed by the Department of Mental Health), supplemented by the review of documents and discussions with key individuals.

The study begins by providing background on the two key organizations and their relations prior to the initiation of program planning. The study then goes on to describe six discrete stages of the program's development; these stages are punctuated by "decision points.".

The first three stages of the program's development reflect macro-implementation at the Citywide level. Micro-implementation, which occurs in the individual school districts and schools, takes place in stages four, five and six (though macro-implementation does not completely end), as the program is established in seventy schools in nineteen community school districts.

Through this description and analysis of the six stages of program development, the study explores the political and organizational issues which affected the planning and implementation of the program.

The insider's view of the program also provides insight into the inner workings of public sector program development, illustrating the following: the inter-organizational and political problems raised by jointly developed programs; the ability of Budget agency officials to influence program development; and, the effectiveness of committed individuals within the educational and mental health services system to establish a program, however modified from its original conception.


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