Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START)

Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams in Rural Appalachia: Implementation and Outcomes
This study describes the implementation and outcomes of START in a rural Appalachian county with high rates of poverty, nonmedical prescription drug use, and child maltreatment. Despite a severely limited addiction treatment infrastructure at baseline, children served by START were less likely to experience recurrence of child abuse or neglect within 6 months or re-enter foster care at 12 months compared with a matched control group.

The Impact of Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) on Family Outcomes
The Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START ) is an integrated model that pairs child protective service workers with family mentors and partners with treatment providers. This is a prospective naturalistic evaluation comparing rates of adult sobriety and child placement in state custody using provider-collected data merged with state administrative data sets. All families in the served and comparison groups had equal risks to child safety. Mothers achieved sobriety at 1.8 times the rate of typical treatment; children were placed in state custody at half the rate expected.

Application of the Evaluation Framework for Program Improvement of START
This manuscript is intended to illustrate the Children’s Bureau Framework to Design, Test, Spread, and Sustain Effective Practice in Child Welfare (Framework Workgroup, 2014) as applied to the Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Team (START) program. To do this, the first four phases of the framework are described in relationship to the START program and the fifth and final phase of the framework is illustrated with a specific study. The framework defines a five-phased process from intervention development and testing through applying and improving interventions in child welfare practice. As a practical guide, the framework is intended for child welfare leadership, funding agencies, and researchers to strengthen the use of evaluation findings in policy and program decision-making.

“Like a Marriage”: Partnering with Peer Mentors in Child Welfare
Families with co-occurring substance use and child abuse/neglect have complex needs. In response, a growing number of child welfare programs have incorporated peer mentors into their service delivery models. The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of mentors, caseworkers, and supervisors working through an integrated team model in Kentucky.

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