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Project Description

Florida Children’s Reunification Services Collaborative (CRSC) was designed to facilitate family reunification for children in out-of-home care in Hillsborough County who are affected by parental methamphetamine or other substance abuse. This project was designed to increase capacity for substance abuse treatment by providing additional slots for inpatient and outpatient drug treatment in the community. CRSC also offered additional supports to parent(s) as they sought the necessary treatment for their addiction through access to the Dependency System Navigators that included In-home supportive counseling for individuals, couples, and families; supportive and therapeutic visitation; and parenting instruction and reinforcement of skills once children had been returned to the home.

Target Population

Children’s Reunification Services Collaborative targeted:

  • Parents in Hillsborough County experiencing meth and other substance abuse issues whose children had been removed from the home, but whose case plan called for reunification.
  • Children ages zero through 17, living in out-of-home care, whose case plans called for reunification.

Major Project Goals

  • Improve timely access to appropriate level of substance abuse treatment;
  • Reduce lengths of stay in foster care;
  • Improve overall adult and child well-being by increasing stability of placement.

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
  • Traditional In-Home Services

Parenting/Family Strengthening

  • Standard and Enhanced Parenting
  • Evidence-Based Parenting or Family Strengthening Program - Nurturing Parenting

Visitation Services

  • Supportive Supervised Visitation

Mental Health and Trauma

  • Mental Health Services and Psychiatric Care
  • Trauma informed Services
  • Trauma-Specific Services - Seeking Safety, Addiction and Trauma Recovery Integration Model

Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults

  • Residential/Inpatient Long-Term Matrix Model

Specialized Outreach, Engagement and Retention

  • Cognitive Behavioral Strategies -Motivational Interviewing/Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Contingency Management
  • Co-Located/Out Stationed Staff
  • Other Staffing Practice

Children’s Services

  • Mental Health Services for Children/Youth

Partner Agencies and Organizations

The Children’s Reunification Services Collaborative Project includes the following partners:

Child Welfare

  • Regional/County Child Welfare
  • Child Welfare Services Provider

Substance Abuse

  • Substance Abuse Treatment Agency/Provider


  • Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC)
  • Law Enforcement/Legal/Related Organization
  • General Attorneys
  • Drug Task Force/Anti-Drug Coalition
  • Legal Services/Client Advocacy

Mental Health and Health Services

  • Mental Health Services Providers
  • County Public Health
  • Adult Health Services
  • Children’s Health Provider/Hospital
  • Dental Services


  • State/County Housing Agency
  • Housing/Homeless Services Provider


  • County/Regional School District
  • Early Childhood Services/Education Provider
  • Parenting Education/Services Provider


  • State/County Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Welfare Office
  • Employment Services Provider

Community and Child and Family Services

  • Home Visiting Agency/Services Provider
  • Domestic Violence Services Provider/Agency

Evaluation or Training

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


  • State/County Agency- Children’s Board

Performance Indicators


Occurrence of child maltreatment: Only 2% of children were victims of repeated maltreatment during the first six month period following enrollment.


Prevention of substance-exposed newborns: In total, 86 women were served by the CRSC program over the course of the five years. Of those, six gave birth while involved in the program. All children were born substance-free.


Access to treatment: In total, 115 adults received substance abuse treatment services as a result of participation in the CRSC. The median length of time between enrollment and entry into treatment was 13 days.

Retention in substance abuse treatment: 51% of parents served completed their treatment at DACCO, the primary treatment provider participating in the CRSC. An additional 24% of the parents were transferred to another treatment program or facility. The average length of participation in treatment with DACCO was 202 days.


Parenting: Data was collected for 67 program participants using the Nurturing Parenting Program (NPP) measure of the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI), but matched pre- and post-test pairs were only available for 50 of the mothers. Of those, 82% demonstrated increased parental capacity as measured by that tool.

Sustainability Status

The Children's Reunification Services Collaborative (CRSC) was impacted by several contextual factors that impacted sustainability of the program including changes in lead child welfare agencies and an unstable fiscal landscape in the community. Although not sustained through an institutionalized approach, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-funded grant was received by the Family Dependency Treatment Court (FDTC) that would allow for the implementation of one Dependency System Navigator and continued treatment dollars to fund a step-down model.

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Project Details

  • Lead Agency:
    Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners
  • Geographic Area and Congressional District Served:
    Hillsborough County; Congressional District 11
  • Federal Grant:
    $500,000/5 years
  • Evaluation Design and Comparison Group Type:
    Quasi-experimental, Same-Time, Matched Case-Level
  • Proposed Number Served (5 years):
    Children: 157
    Adults: 117
    Families: 86
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