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Project Description

Washington Since its inception in 1972, Pierce County Alliance has served the citizens of Washington State in a variety of ways. For example, Methamphetamine Family Services (MFS), a court-mandated treatment program, treated users of methamphetamine or other illicit drugs. MFS was designed specifically for individuals whose child custody rights were at risk due, at least in part, to their drug use. Additionally, MFS worked to assist in successful recovery so that parents with substance use disorders could regain custody of their children. The program was built on an outpatient model of chemical dependency treatment which moved a client through three stages, or phases, of recovery. Abstinence was key and monitored throughout the program by a random system of forensic alcohol or drug testing.

Target Population

MFS targeted:

  • Families with children in or at risk of being in out-of-home placement as a result of a parent‘s or caregiver's methamphetamine or other substance dependency in Region V of Washington State.

Major Project Goals

  • Improving the well-being and permanency outcomes of children in or at risk of out-of-home placement as a result of a parent’s or caregiver’s alcohol and other drug dependency;
  • Reducing the number of out-of-home placements and reunification rates;
  • Reducing the recidivism of drug use by parents or caregivers after treatment has been completed.

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

  • Mental Health Services
  • Trauma-Informed Services

Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults

  • Aftercare/Continuing Care
  • Family-Centered Treatment
  • Enhanced Family Treatment Drug Court

Specialized Outreach, Engagement and Retention

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Strategies – Moral Reconation Therapy

Housing Services

  • Housing Assistance
  • Housing Supportive Services

Children’s Services

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

Partner Agencies and Organizations

The MFS Project includes the following partners:

Child Welfare

  • State Child Welfare Agency
  • Regional/County Child Welfare Agency
  • Child Welfare Services Provider

Substance Abuse

  • Substance Abuse Treatment Provider


  • Family Treatment Drug Court
  • Juvenile Justice Agency
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Legal and Related Organizations

  • Attorney General
  • Legal Services/Client Advocacy

Other Community and Child and Family Services

  • Home Visiting Agency or Services Provider

Other Evaluation and Training

  • Evaluator (University-affiliated or Other)

Performance Indicators

Safety and Permanency

Foster Care Re-entries: Among children reunified, none re-entered foster care following reunification.


Timely Access to Treatment: On average, RPG adults entered substance abuse treatment within nine days after they entered the RPG program.

Treatment Retention: Among those discharged from substance abuse treatment, 46.7 percent completed treatment. Overall, the median length of stay in treatment was 394 days.

Reduced Substance Use: Among RPG adults who reported any substance use in the past 30 days at treatment admission, the percentage who reported reductions in use at discharge was between 71.4 percent and 88.6 percent, depending on the substance.

Sustainability Status

At the end of the three-year grant, most of the key innovations implemented were sustained. Pierce County Alliance and the other partners will continue to use the online evaluation system so that outcomes reports can be regularly updated.

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Project Details

  • Lead Agency:
    Pierce County Alliance
  • Geographic Area and Congressional District Served:
    Pierce County; Congressional District 6
  • Federal Grant:
    $1 million/3 years
  • Evaluation Design and Comparison Group Type:
    Quasi-experimental, Historical and Aggregate
  • Proposed Number Served (3 years):
    Children: 210
    Adults: 118
    Families: 100
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