Since entering the field in 1979, she has completed numerous research, evaluation, policy analysis, strategic planning, technical assistance, consultation, and training activities related to service systems for children, youth, and young adults with mental, emotional, and behavioral health challenges and their families.
Ms. Stroul is known for co-authoring a seminal monograph that first presented a conceptual framework and philosophy for a system of care for children’s mental health. She has published extensively in the field, including many monographs, reports, and technical assistance resources, as well as numerous contributions to professional journals and books. Ms. Stroul edited a book released in 1996, entitled Children’s Mental Health: Creating Systems of Care in a Changing Society. She co-edited a 2008 volume, The System of Care Handbook: Transforming Mental Health Services for Children and Families, with Dr. Gary Blau, Chief of the Child, Adolescent, and Family Division of the federal Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In addition, she co-edited a book series on systems of care.
Her recent work includes national studies, such as strategies for widespread expansion of systems of care, effective financing strategies, return on investment in systems of care, state-community partnerships for system of care expansion, sustaining systems of care, and custody relinquishment to obtain behavioral health care. Her work includes a focus on Medicaid, such as a study on “making Medicaid work for children in child welfare,” and a guide for family-run organizations to become Medicaid providers of peer support services. She has developed numerous tools for use by states and communities, including a strategic framework and self-assessment to support improvements in children’s behavioral health systems, a rating tool to measure implementation of the system of care approach at the local level and statewide, and a guide for analyzing return on investment in systems of care. She is also currently working in the area of health reform and managed care implementation to identify opportunities for incorporating the system of care approach and improving children’s behavioral health services.
Ms. Stroul is a core partner of the National Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Behavioral Health coordinated by The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work. Through this network, she provides individualized technical assistance, consultation, and support to states and communities related to system of care implementation, in addition to policy analysis and resource development. In addition, Ms. Stroul is a senior advisor to the national evaluation of the federal Children’s Mental Health Initiative, being conducted by Westat. In this role, she participates in developing the conceptual framework for the evaluation, designing instrumentation, training evaluators, analyzing results, and preparing resources to assist states and communities and to inform national policy and programs.
Previously, Ms. Stroul was a consultant to the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at Georgetown University throughout its tenure from 1984 to 2015. Through her affiliation with Georgetown University, she played a leadership role in many areas of system of care implementation, including planning and organizing the center’s biennial and well regarded national training institutes. Additionally, as a consultant to the national evaluation of SAMHSA-funded systems of care, she served as an advisor to the overall evaluation approach and analysis and played a lead role in special studies, such as a longitudinal study on the sustainability of systems of care.
During the Clinton administration, Ms. Stroul served on the Mental Health Cluster Group of the President’s Task Force on Health Care Reform, and she served as a consultant to the work group on children for President Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. In 1994, she was given the Making a Difference Award, presented by the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health for “outstanding national leadership in pioneering advocacy on behalf of children with emotional/behavioral health/mental disorders and their families.” Her leadership in the children’s mental health field and in pioneering the national training institutes was recognized with an award presented by Georgetown University in 2004. In 2005, Ms. Stroul was honored by the American Psychological Association with the Distinguished Contribution to Child Advocacy Award, in recognition of her significant contributions to advocacy on behalf of children and their families.
Prior to becoming a consultant, Ms. Stroul worked in direct service environments as both a clinician and a manager. She was a school counselor, a clinical social worker in a community mental health center working with children and adults, and subsequently Director of Emergency Services. She graduated from Cornell University with distinction and holds an M.Ed. in counselor education and community mental health from Boston University.