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Project Description

Oklahoma The mission of Serving Our At Risk, also known as Project SOAR, was to increase interagency collaboration and integration of programs and services by providing evidence-based and culturally sensitive activities and services. The project’s activities and services were designed to increase the well-being of, increase permanency outcomes for and enhance the safety of children who are in out-of-home placement or are at risk of being placed in out-of-home care as a result of a parent’s or caretaker’s methamphetamine or other substance abuse in Latimer, Pittsburg and McCurtain Counties in south-eastern Oklahoma.

Target Population

Project SOAR targeted:

  • Served families whose children were in out-of-home placement or were at risk of being placed in an out-of-home placement as a result of a parent’s or caretaker’s methamphetamine abuse
  • Provided services to three county drug courts

Major Project Goals

  • Building the region’s capacity to meet a broad range of needs for families involved with both substance abuse treatment and the child welfare system by improving interagency collaboration and integration of programs serving children who are in an out-of-home placement as a result of a parent’s or caretaker’s methamphetamine or other substance abuse;
  • Providing intensive outpatient counseling services for at-risk children and their families, as well as securing support from other resources for additionally identified needs;
  • Providing sessions of the nationally-acclaimed Strengthening Families Program for at-risk children and their parents or caretakers;
  • Providing the evidence-based Lions-Quest curriculum for at-risk elementary school aged children attending school in Latimer and Pittsburg counties.

Key Major Program Services

Case Management and In-Home Services

  • Family Group Decision Making/Family Case Conferencing

Parenting/Family Strengthening

  • Manualized/Evidence-Based Parenting Program – Strengthening Families Program

Mental Health and Trauma Services for Adults

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

Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults

  • Long-Term Residential/Inpatient
  • Residential/Inpatient – Specialized for Parents with Children
  • Intensive Outpatient – Matrix Model

Specialized Outreach, Engagement and Retention

  • Cognitive Behavioral Strategies

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

  • Screening and Assessment for Trauma
  • Specialized Screening and Assessment – Psychosocial

Children’s Services

  • Early Intervention and Developmental Services
  • Mental Health Services for Children/Youth
  • Trauma Services for Children/Youth – Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT)

Housing Services

  • Housing Support and Assistance Services

Partner Agencies and Organizations

The Project SOAR Project includes the following partners:

Child Welfare

  • Choctaw Indian Child Welfare Department
  • Oklahoma Department of Human Services (State Child Welfare department)

Substance Abuse

  • Choctaw Nation Inpatient Treatment Programs


  • Oklahoma County Drug Courts (Pittsburg, Latimer and McCurtain Counties)


  • Choctaw Community Health Representatives

Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Legal and Related Organizations

  • Choctaw Law Enforcement

Mental Health

  • Choctaw Behavioral Health & Substance Abuse Prevention

Health Services

  • Choctaw National Health Services Authority


  • Choctaw Housing Authority


  • Choctaw Education Department


  • Choctaw Tribal TERO Program

Other Community and Child and Family Services

  • Choctaw Women, Children & Infants Program


  • 18 School Districts

Performance Indicators


Reunification: The program was successful in reuniting 70.0 percent of the children who were in out-of-home care. All of these children had been removed from the home prior to program intake.


Access to Substance Abuse Treatment: All of the adults received substance abuse treatment and treatment at the level for which they were assessed.

Treatment Completion: More than three-quarters (77.5 percent) of adults completed treatment.

Sustainability Status

The program has been able to sustain a number of services offered through the grant including mental health services (e.g., individual, marriage, family and group therapy). They have also sustained outpatient substance abuse services offered by counselors who are available in the northern and southern boundaries of the counties served. The site also reported that their work with the drug courts have been institutionalized and that they will continue this collaborative relationship and will also continue to develop their relationship with probation and parole. Additionally, by addressing the Oklahoma State Child Welfare Improvement Plan Pinnacle Points in the development of the RPG program, the site was able to improve their ability to access and sustain Medicare funding.

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Project Details

  • Lead Agency:
    Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Geographic Area and Congressional District Served:
    Latimer County, Pittsburg County and McCurtain County; Congressional District 2
  • Federal Grant:
    $500,000/5 years (2007-2012)
  • Evaluation Design and Comparison Group Type:
  • Proposed Number Served (5 years):
    Children: 100
    Adults: 169
    Families: 146
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