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Project Description

Oklahoma The Oklahoma Partnership Initiative (OPI) to increase the well-being of, and to improve the permanency outcomes for, children affected by methamphetamine and other substance abuse addresses the growing problem of children who are at high risk for substance abuse and other problem behaviors due to their parents' substance abuse. The goal of this project was to intervene effectively and early to prevent and reduce the risks for children associated with parental methamphetamine and/or other substance abuse.

Target Population

Oklahoma Partnership Initiative targeted:

  • Universal Screening component: All parents whose children are at imminent risk for removal due to child abuse or neglect (statewide);
  • Accessibility of services to newborns component: Health professionals who provide care to women, children and families (statewide);
  • Early intervention/prevention component: Out-of-home children aged 3-12, their primary caregiver, and their biological parent (statewide) and parents needing substance abuse treatment and their children (statewide).

Major Project Goals

  • Universal screening for alcohol and substance abuse for all parents whose children are at risk of removal in the child welfare system;
  • Expanding the accessibility of services to substance exposed newborns through enhanced identification and intervention with infants identified as substance exposed;
  • Early intervention and prevention services for children and adolescents of substance abusing parents through evidence based programs;
  • Improvements in cross system information sharing mechanisms to ensure consistent data collection across the substance abuse and child welfare systems.

Case Management and In-Home Services

  • “Traditional” Case Management

Parenting/Family Strengthening

  • Evidence-Based Parenting or Family Strengthening Program – Strengthening Families Program

Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults

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

Specialized Outreach, Engagement and Retention

  • Cognitive and Behavioral Strategies – Motivational Interviewing

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

  • Screening and Assessment for Trauma
  • Other Specialized Child Screening and Assessment – Mental Health/Psychological, Behavioral/Socio-Emotional

Screening and Assessment – Substance Use and Other Adult Issues

  • Screening and Assessment for Substance Use Disorders
  • Other Specialized Adult Screening and Assessment – Parenting

Children’s Services

  • Early Intervention and Developmental Services
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Trauma Services for Children/Youth

Cross-Systems/Interagency Collaboration

  • Clinical and Program Training
  • Cross-systems Policies and Procedures
  • Cross-systems Information Sharing and Data Analysis
  • Partner Meetings

Partner Agencies and Organizations

The Oklahoma Partnership Initiative Project includes the following partners:

Child Welfare

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

Substance Abuse

  • State Substance Abuse Agency
  • Regional/County Substance Abuse Agency
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Agency/Provider(s)


  • Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC)
  • Juvenile Justice Agency (State/County/Local)

Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Legal and Related Organizations

  • County Corrections

Mental Health and Health Services

  • State Mental Health Agency
  • Mental Health Services Provider(s)
  • Children’s Health Provider/Hospital


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

Other Evaluation and Training

  • Evaluator (University-Affiliated or Other)

Performance Indicators

Recent reporting prepared by the grantee targets the experiences with implementation of the UNCOPE. Latent class analysis was used to identify homogenous subpopulations within the larger foster care involved population; and to test if patterns existed within respondents who were are various degrees of risk for substance abuse.

Sustainability Status

OPI was able to sustain specific components of the project. Through the grant resources statewide Strengthening Families Program training was held to ensure that treatment providers were trained in the curriculum throughout Oklahoma and had the capacity to continue the services. In addition, the Strengthening Families Program is able to bill Medicaid for services, which allows for sustainability after the grant ends. OPI will also sustain use of the UNCOPE in child welfare cases involving children at risk or in out of home care as the screening is embedded in the Family Functional Assessment used by child welfare. The project will be able to sustain UNCOPE data collections without additional funding as OKDHS is fully committed to ensuring that the UNCOPE data set is electronically incorporated into the statewide computerized child welfare tracking system. OPI was not able to sustain the New Directions program component.

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Project Details

  • Lead Agency:
    Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
  • Geographic Area and Congressional District Served:
    Oklahoma County; Congressional District 5
  • Federal Grant:
    $500,000/5 years
  • Evaluation Design and Comparison Group Type:
    Quasi-experimental, Same-time, Matched Population-Level, Usual Child Welfare/Substance Abuse Services
  • Proposed Number Served (5 years):
    Children: 157
    Adults: 122
    Families: 92
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