Project Description

Vermont Lund Family Center, a comprehensive residential and community treatment program for substance abusing women and their children located in Burlington (Chittenden County), Vermont developed a regional partnership to improve well-being and permanency outcomes for Vermont children affected by substance abuse." Lund partnered with Vermont's child welfare agency (Department of Children and Families Division of Family Services) and Department of Health Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs. Lund has built on existing services to greatly enhance collaboration with the child welfare and substance abuse agencies to increase the well-being of children and improve permanency outcomes.

Target Population

Regional Interagency Screening, Assessment, and Treatment Collaboration targeted:

  • Families whose children who are in, or at-risk, for an out-of-home placement due to methamphetamine or other substance abuse by a parent/caretaker living in Chittenden County

Major Project Goals

  • Safety: Protect children from abuse and neglect;
  • Permanency: Increase permanency and stability for children in their living situations;
  • Well-Being: Enhance the capacity of families to provide for their children’s needs;
  • Service Capacity: Increase the community’s ability to address parental/caretaker substance abuse and its effect on children.

Key Major Program Services

Case Management and In-Home Services

  • Traditional Case Management
  • Intensive Case Management
  • Family Group Decision Making
  • Wraparound/Intensive In-Home Services

Visitation Services

  • Supportive Supervised Visitation

Engagement/Involvement of Fathers

  • Targeted Outreach

Mental Health and Trauma Services for Adults

  • Psychiatric Care
  • Trauma Informed Services
  • Trauma-Specific Services - Seeking Safety, Beyond Trauma, A Woman’s Way through Twelve Steps

Specialized Outreach, Engagement and Retention

  • Cognitive Behavioral Strategies – Motivational Interviewing/Motivational Enhancement Therapy
  • Co-location of Staff
  • Recovery Coach/Specialist

Screening and Assessment – Child Welfare and Other Children’s Issues

  • Screening and Assessment for Child Welfare Issues
  • Specialized Screening and Assessment – Developmental, Prenatal Exposure/Risk, Behavioral/Socio-Emotional

Screening and Assessment – Substance Use and Other Adult Issues

  • Screening and Assessment for Substance Use Disorders
  • Specialized Screening and Assessment – Mental Health/Co-Occurring Disorders, Parenting, Health/Medical

Partner Agencies and Organizations

The Regional Interagency Screening, Assessment, and Treatment Collaboration Project includes the following partners:

Child Welfare

  • State Child Welfare Agency

Substance Abuse

  • State Substance Abuse Agency
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Agency/Provider

Courts

  • Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC)

Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Legal and Related Organizations

  • State Corrections

Health Services

  • County Public Health

Other Evaluation and Training

  • Evaluator (University-Affiliated or Other)r

Performance Indicators

Safety

Colocation Component: Recurrence of Maltreatment – Clients in the Colocation component had a lower incidence of recurrence of maltreatment than those in the comparison group. 13.5% of treatment and 23.5% of control children had a new reported occurrence or reoccurrence of maltreatment during the two-year period following the date the case was opened as an RPG case.

Assessment Bed – Recurrence of Maltreatment: Clients in the assessment bed treatment group had a lower incidence of reoccurrence of maltreatment than those in the comparison group. 3.4% of the treatment group had an occurrence or reoccurrence in the first six months compared to 6.2% for the comparison group.

Recovery

Access to Treatment: Clients in the Colocation Component had a mean time from RPG file open to initial SA assessment of 8.4 days. Mean time from the initial SA assessment to treatment admission was 27.8 days.

Well-Being

Coordinated case management: While almost all treatment group members (co-location) receive joint case management services and cross agency assessment conferences, differences in families receiving a cross-agency assessment conference every 90 days was significant 93.6% for the treatment group and 0.6% for the control group.

Sustainability Status

The Vermont Commissioner of DCF is trying to replicate the model in other regions of the state by creating three private-public partnership pilot projects using the local parent-child centers and DCF in other regions of Vermont. The Vermont RPG’s project components, specifically the assessment beds, the co-location of treatment staff within child welfare, and the children’s play lab have been incorporated into existing programs at varying degrees of success.

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Reports

Project Details

  • Lead Agency:
    Lund Family Center
  • Geographic Area and Congressional District Served:
    Chittenden County; Congressional District 1
  • Federal Grant:
    $500,000/5 years
  • Evaluation Design and Comparison Group Type:
    Quasi-experimental, Same-Time, Matched Population-Level
  • Proposed Number Served (5 years):
    Children: 1,180
    Adults: 654
    Families: 565
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