An overview of the START program, and how it brings together drug treatment providers and child welfare staff in Cuyahoga County.
Program goals, including how to keep children safe and help drug-addicted parents overcome their drug problems.
Program methods, including governance and staffing, and the need for role flexibility among child welfare social workers, advocates, drug treatment providers, health care providers, housing partners and other support systems.
Program evaluation strategy, including data sources and analytic techniques used.
This document highlights the work of the Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. START is a program that incorporates addiction-services treatment, good child welfare practice, and family preservation into case management. Also included is an evaluation of program implementation, operations, and child-welfare and substance abuse treatment outcomes.
START assumes that infants are the most vulnerable population. Mothers who have delivered more than one baby with a positive toxicology result are to be considered at a very high risk, both for the newborn and for other children at home.
START team members make at least one home visit per week, per family. Additionally, families have access to their START workers or a crisis team 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure immediate responsiveness and maximum child safety.
Holistic Treatment Planning
The START program aims to achieve a comprehensive, standardized and integrated assessment process that encompasses all life domains, emphasizing child safety and factors related to addiction. The process would include input from parents and be respectful of cultural differences.
Statements & Quotations
The substance abuse problem threatens the entire system. Child welfare workers are torn between wanting to believe the best about people and having to acknowledge that some parents are not able to keep their kids safe
The intention is to have social workers and advocates be full partners in serving clients.