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Project Description

California The focus of the project was to strengthen and enhance the existing FamilyLink program, an integrated service model serving women, dependent children, and their families within the Center Point residential facility in San Rafael, CA. Center Point, in partnership with the Marin County Child Welfare System (CWS), sought to reduce the effects of methamphetamine and other substance use on the children and their families involved with the CWS.

FamilyLink offered an array of on-site rehabilitation services including healthy birth outcomes for pregnant women. Adult participants received culturally appropriate, trauma-informed ongoing care to address substance use, mental health disorders, parenting training, vocational services, independent living skills and other needs in order to promote long-term sobriety and family reunification.

FamilyLink also provided a safe, structured, educational, and stable environment for children to reside in while their mothers sought treatment for their own substance use and mental health disorders. All children were enrolled in quality educational services through Head Start.

Target Population

Family Link targeted:

  • Women from Marin County, California in need of substance use and mental health disorder treatment
  • Involved in the child welfare system (CWS) and who were either at risk of losing their children or had temporarily lost custody of their children (i.e., those not meeting the goals of their reunification plans)
  • Had dependent children who were not necessarily involved in the CWS, but were at a heightened risk for losing custody of their children due to their substance use
  • Dependent children who were involved in both the dependency and justice systems

Major Project Goals

  • Inform the CWS’ understanding of the links between substance use and child abuse and neglect through joint case management by Center Point staff and child welfare personnel;
  • Increase the number of parents entering substance abuse treatment services by 25% as measured by child welfare and Center Point case records;
  • FamilyLink will enhance the successful completion rate by reducing the percentage of clients who drop out or are involuntarily discharged from the program as measured by discharge status;
  • FamilyLink will provide opportunities designed to increase the parental capacity of participants to provide for their children’s needs;
  • Reduce parent-child separation of children of mothers with substance abuse problems.

Key Major Program Services

Case Management and In-Home Services

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

Parenting/Family Strengthening

  • Manualized Parenting Curriculum or Evidence-Based Parenting – Celebrating Families, Parenting Now

Engagement/Involvement of Fathers

  • Targeted Outreach

Mental Health and Trauma Services for Adults

  • Mental Health Services
  • Trauma Informed Services
  • Trauma Specific Services – Seeking Safety, Covington Programs, Helping Women Recover, Beyond Trauma, Healing Journey for Women

Specialized Outreach, Engagement and Retention

  • Cognitive Behavioral Strategies - Motivational Interviewing, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Contingency Management

Children’s Services

  • Early Intervention and Developmental Services
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Trauma Services for Children/Youth – Parent Child Interaction Therapy

Other Strategies

  • Co-Located Head Start Therapeutic Day Care
  • Dedicated Off-Site Head Start Classroom
  • Recovery Coach/Specialist
  • Peer/Parent Mentor
  • Transportation

Partner Agencies and Organizations

The Family Link Project includes the following partners:

Child Welfare

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

Substance Abuse

  • Regional/County Substance Abuse Agency
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Agency/Provider


  • Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC)

Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Legal and Related Organizations

  • County Corrections

Health Services

  • County Public Health


  • Housing/Homeless Services Provider


  • Early Childhood Services/Education Provider
  • Parenting Education/Services Provider


  • Employment Services Provider

Performance Indicators


Recurrence of Maltreatment: None of the children in FamilyLink experienced an initial occurrence and/or recurrence of child maltreatment between RPG entry and discharge.


Children Remain At Home: None of the children residing in treatment with their mothers at Center Point were removed from their mothers’ care prior to their mothers’ discharge from the program.

Reunification: The rate of family reunification was high; of the 64 mothers who did not have custody of their child when they began FamilyLink, 55 (85.9%) were reunited during program participation.


Substance Exposed Newborns: Seven children were born while their mothers resided in treatment; none of them were substance exposed at birth.


Treatment Completion: At the end of the FamilyLink project, the overall treatment completion rate was 59.7%. Prior to this project, the treatment completion rate at Center Point’s residential program for women was 53.3%. A majority (63.7%) of the 149 women discharged from FamilyLink were successfully discharged, including 59.7% who completed treatment and 4.0% who transferred to another treatment program.

Employment: Only 5.8% of clients were employed prior to enrolling in the program. Among the 149 clients discharged from the program, 47.0% were employed full or part time at discharge.

Sustainability Status

In 2012 Center Point, Inc. responded to the Request for Proposals for Round Two of the Regional Partnership Grants and was a recipient of a new five year grant to continue the FamilyLink program and services through 2017. In addition, Center Point applied for and was awarded a four year grant to provide comprehensive support services for families affected by substance abuse and/or HIV/AIDS. FamilyLink Plus, the new program, offers an opportunity to expand and enhance services offered to women with dependent children and will include family visits, parenting education, and fatherhood services through 2016.

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Project Details

  • Lead Agency:
    CenterPoint, Inc
  • Geographic Area and Congressional District Served:
    Marin County; Congressional District 61
  • 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: 152
    Adults: 147
    Families: 147
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