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Project Description

Kentucky Kentucky Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (K-START for Martin County) was a Child Protective Services (CPS) initiated practice designed to address the co-occurrence of child maltreatment and parental substance abuse that paired specially trained CPS workers with Family Mentors (peer support specialists in recovery) in teams handling 12-15 cases. K-START partnered with substance abuse treatment providers to deliver intensive and comprehensive behavioral health treatment with quick access and retention supports. K-START was designed to keep children safe in permanent homes and nurture their wellbeing; to promote sobriety, recovery and parental capacity among substance-abusing parents; and to build community capacity for recovery supports.

Target Population

Kentucky Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (K-Start for Martin County) targeted:

  • Families with substantiated abuse and neglect
  • Substance abuse as a risk factor
  • At least one child three years of age or younger in the family
  • Family does not have an open CPS case
  • Referred from the CPS intake team within 30 days of the CPS report.

Major Project Goals

  • Increase parents’ access, retention and engagement in behavioral health treatment and community recovery supports and long-term well-being;
  • Enhance the resources and coordination of resources for parents and children during the program;
  • Improve the capacity of parents affected by substance abuse to care for their children’s needs, promote their child’s well-being and reduce child abuse potential;
  • Keep children safe with their parents if possible, reunify families and promote attachment for children needing relative or foster care placements;
  • Reduce the number of repeat referrals to Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) and recurrence of child abuse and neglect among families served;
  • Enhance child developmental and emotional well-being.

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 Comprehensive Services

Engagement/Involvement of Fathers

  • Targeted Outreach

Mental Health and Trauma Services for Adults

  • Trauma-Informed Services
  • Trauma-Specific Services – Covington Programs, Helping Women Recover, Seeking Safety

Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults

  • Aftercare/Continuing Care/Recovery Community Support Services – Matrix Model

Specialized Outreach, Engagement and Retention

  • Cognitive Behavioral Strategies – Motivational Interviewing
  • Peer/Parent Mentor
  • Co-location of Staff

Screening and Assessment – Substance Use and Other Adult Issues

  • Screening and Assessment for Substance Use Disorders
  • Other Specialized Adult Screening and Assessment – Psycho-Social, Health/Medical

Partner Agencies and Organizations

The Kentucky Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (K-Start for Martin County) Project includes the following partners:

Child Welfare

  • State Child Welfare Agency
  • Regional/County Child Welfare Agency
  • Child Welfare Services Provider(s)

Substance Abuse

  • Substance Abuse Treatment Agency
  • State Substance Abuse Agency
  • Regional/County Substance Abuse Agency
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Agency/Providers


  • Other Dependency Court
  • Office State Courts Admin/Court Improvement Program (CIP)

Law Enforcement/Legal/Related Organization

  • Other Drug Task Force/Anti-Drug Coalition

Mental Health Services and Mental Health Services

  • State Mental Health Services
  • Regional/County Mental Health Services
  • Mental Health Services Provider
  • County Public Health


  • Housing/Homeless Provider


  • County/Regional School District
  • College or University
  • Parenting Education/Services Provider


  • State/County Employment Agency
  • State/County Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Welfare Agency

Other Evaluation and Training

  • Evaluator (University-Affiliated or Other)

Other Community and Child and Family Services

  • Domestic Violence Service Provider
  • Peer/Parent/Mentor Group of Network
  • Community Level District
  • Other Advisory/ Council Groups

Performance Indicators


Recurrence of Maltreatment: Children served in Martin County were more likely to be placed out of the home compared to other K-START clients, however they experienced less recurrence of child abuse and neglect with a 6 month rate of recurrence at 4.6% compared to 10.1% in the matched control group and 5.1% for all other K-START sites. In 2007, the rate of recurrence in six months in Martin County was 25%; it is now 9.35%.


Re-entry to Foster Care: Kentucky’s overall rate of reentry to out-of-home care (OOHC) varied at about 13% within 12 months (CFSR Data Profile). Martin County has a rate of 0% at this time with the matched control group rate at 17.6% reentering OOHC in 12 months.


Access to Treatment: The K-START treatment provider, MCCC, progressed from assessing 41% of clients (2008) to assessing 80% of clients within 3 calendar days of the referral. By 2011 MCCC was able to assess 68% of adults the same day as the referral.

The rates of achieving sobriety have fallen in all K-START sites, corresponding to a threefold increase in the number of clients with opiate addiction which has always been highly prominent in Martin County (80% of parents with opiate addiction).

Sustainability Status

Recovery support groups, town hall meetings, PAR and other community recovery supports will be continued and changes to the culture will be ongoing in Martin County. Mentor services modeled after K-START will be provided with a preference to the highest risk cases. Although changes to the duration and intensity of mentor and treatment services were made, the changes have resulted in sustainable resources for families in the community. Clients will be assessed for service needs including new services such as Victim Services for people with trauma histories. Transportation will be available using the vehicle(s) purchased by the grant for clients who request it.

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Project Details

  • Lead Agency:
    Kentucky Department for Community Based Services
  • Geographic Area and Congressional District Served:
    Martin County; Congressional District Statewide
  • Federal Grant:
    $500,000/5 years
  • Evaluation Design and Comparison Group Type:
    Quasi-experimental, Historical, Matched Population-Level
  • Proposed Number Served (5 years):
    Children: 153
    Adults: 128
    Families: 67
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