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  • The Northern California Regional Partnership for Safe and Stable Families (also known as the Butte County RPG)

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Project Description

California The Northern California Regional Partnership for Safe and Stable Families is comprised of four Northern California counties (Butte, Lake, Tehama and Trinity) with support and leadership from University of California at Davis Extension and IDEA Consulting for evaluation activities. The mission of the Butte County RPG was to improve the permanency outcomes for children affected by methamphetamine and/or other substances by providing timely services, engaging families and collaborating and coordinating with their partners. Through enhanced cross-system partnerships, early assessment, diagnosis and treatment, the partnership was able to improve outcomes for families participating in their program.

Target Population

Butte County RPG targeted:

  • All child welfare-involved families affected by substance abuse disorders, including those families where children are at risk of out-of-home placement as a result of methamphetamine and/or other substance abuse. 
  • Women with young children (a priority target population)

Major Project Goals

  • Developing shared policies and procedures for sharing information across agencies and counties to enhance communication and planning activities among agencies;
  • Providing cross-agency training within and across counties on collaboration, screening and assessment tools, evidence-based and best practice service models and strategies for implementing information sharing, outcomes and evaluation techniques;
  • Developing screening instruments for use by Child Welfare Services (CWS) to identify substance use in families and protocols for immediate referral to Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) services;
  • Developing screening instruments for use by AOD services to identify indicators of suspected child abuse and neglect and protocols for immediate referral to CWS;
  • Identifying and developing evidence-based best practices, culturally relevant treatment models for AOD programs designed for parents involved with Child Welfare Services (especially for women with young children), specific programs for treating methamphetamine addiction and techniques for utilizing Dependency Drug Courts in the treatment process.

Key Major Program Services

Case Management and In-Home Services

  • Intensive/Coordinated Case Management
  • Family Group Decision Making/Family Case Conferencing

Mental Health and Trauma

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

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

  • Screening and Assessment – Child Welfare Issues
  • Specialized Child Screening and Assessment – Developmental

Parenting/Family Strengthening

  • Manualized/Evidence-Based Parenting Program – Nurturing Parenting

Engagement and 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
  • Co-located Staff

Partner Agencies and Organizations

The Butte County RPG Project includes the following partners:

Substance Abuse

  • Regional/County Substance Abuse Treatment Agency


  • Family Drug Court

Mental Health

  • County Public Health


  • College or University (non-evaluator role)
  • Individual School(s)
  • Early Childhood Services/Education Provider
  • Parenting Education/Services Provider

Other Evaluation and Training

  • Evaluator (University-Affiliated or Other)
  • Consultant/Training

Performance Indicators

Family Functioning or Child Well-Being

Family Relationships and Functioning: Across the four counties, 462 of the 801 parents or caregivers (57.7 percent) had a child remain in the home or were reunified with a child. These parents showed improved parent-child interactions by being reunified with one or more children and/or maintaining their child at home.


Timely Access to Treatment: There were 801 parents enrolled in substance use treatment in the Butte County RPG project. For these 801 parents, the average number of days between program entry and treatment entry in the four-county cohort was three days.

Treatment Retention: Of the 801 adults enrolled in substance use treatment, 506 clients were discharged. Of the 506 parents who were discharged, 151 clients (29.8 percent) successfully completed substance use treatment.

Sustainability Status

Three of the four counties have been able to creatively sustain the positions which were developed as a result of this grant funding. In addition, the values and treatment models have become standard practice for all four counties, with families being active leaders in their treatment. The multi-agency collaboration and shared treatment planning activities will continue in all four counties.

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Project Details

  • Lead Agency:
    Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services
  • Geographic Area and Congressional District Served:
    Counties of Butte, Lake, Tehama and Trinity; Congressional District 1 & 2
  • Federal Grant:
    $500,000/3 years (2008-2011)
  • Evaluation Design and Comparison Group Type:
  • Proposed Number Served (3 years):
    Children: 1061
    Adults: 801
    Families: 581
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