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Project Description

Colorado NRBH provided integrated substance abuse, mental health and community services to children and families in Larimer and Weld Counties who were involved with the child welfare system, particularly those involved with methamphetamine. The project focused on increasing the safety, well-being and permanency of at-risk children by providing a continuum of integrated services to those children, their parents and caregivers and their families' support system. Two new Family Treatment Courts (FTCs) opened (one each of the counties) and one pre-existing FTC in Weld County was expanded to include additional components.

Target Population

NRBH targeted:

  • Children and families who have entered the Weld or Larimer County child welfare system and showed evidence of methamphetamine use by parent or caretaker;
  • Families of individuals who have entered into a drug court in the 8th or 19th Judicial District.

Major Project Goals

  • Addressing parental substance abuse more effectively;
  • Addressing the needs of children so that they can become healthy, successful adults, despite parental substance abuse;
  • Promoting cross-agencies collaboration to increase the quality, appropriateness and effectiveness of services for families involved with substance abuse and the child welfare systems.

Key Major Program Services

Case Management and In-Home Services

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

Mental Health and Trauma

  • Trauma-Informed Services
  • Trauma-Specific Services – Seeking Safety

Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults

  • Intensive Outpatient – Matrix Model
  • Aftercare/Continuing Care
  • Family-Centered Treatment
  • New Family Treatment Drug Court

Housing Services

  • Housing Support Services
  • Housing Assistance
  • Transitional/Short-Term Housing

Children’s Services

  • Early Intervention Services
  • Developmental Services
  • Therapeutic Services
  • Trauma Services

Engagement/Involvement of Fathers

  • Targeted Outreach to Fathers
  • Specialized Program or Services for Fathers

Specialized Outreach, Engagement and Retention

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Strategies – Motivational Interviewing, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Contingency Management
  • Co-located Staff
  • Screen/Assess/Brief Interventions
  • Peer/Parent Mentor

Partner Agencies and Organizations

The NRBH Project includes the following partners:

Child Welfare

  • Regional/County Child Welfare Agency

Substance Abuse

  • Regional/County Substance Abuse Treatment Agency


  • Family Treatment Drug Court

Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Legal and Related Organizations

  • Legal Services/Client Advocacy

Mental Health and Health Services

  • Regional/County Mental Health Agency

Other Evaluation and Training

  • Evaluator (University-affiliated or other)
  • Consultant/Training

Performance Indicators


Average Length of Stay in Foster Care: Among those children placed in foster care, the comparison group spent more time in foster care (11.49 months) than the FTC group (8.80 months).

Parenting: Results indicate that overall parental capabilities, measured using the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale (NCFAS) and assessed by caseworkers, improved significantly. Comparison of the intake and discharge ratings on overall parental capabilities reveals that 75.0 percent of the FTC families and 67.0 percent of the comparison families were rated as having a problem (mild, moderate, or serious) at intake, whereas only 10.0 percent of the families were rated as having a problem at discharge.


Retention in Substance Abuse Treatment: FTC parents averaged more days per treatment episode than the comparison group.

Adult Well-Being

Education and Employment: The percentage of clients reporting employment increased from 37.2 percent to 56.3 percent from program intake to discharge.

Mental Health Functioning: The percentage of clients reporting overall symptom severity, anxiety symptoms and depressive issues decreased significantly from intake to discharge for the FTC treatment group. On the overall symptom severity item, the percentage of clients experiencing problems decreased from 71.0 percent to 35.0 percent, demonstrating a 50.7 percent change. Items were assessed using the Colorado Client Assessment Record (CCAR).

Sustainability Status

Both FTCs continued beyond grant funding by using existing local resources.

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Project Details

  • Lead Agency:
    North Range Behavioral Health Center
  • Geographic Area and Congressional District Served:
    Weld and Larimer County; Congressional District 4
  • Federal Grant:
    $1 million/3 years
  • Evaluation Design and Comparison Group Type:
    Quasi-experimental, Same-Time, Matched Population-Level
  • Proposed Number Served (3 years):
    Children: 197
    Adults: 149
    Families: 92
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