CFF's Evaluation of Riverside County Children Affected
CFF provides evaluation and consulting services to the Riverside County Family Preservation Court (FPC). The program was established in 2002 as a 12-month court-supervised program for families whose children have been removed or who are at risk of removal due to child abuse and/or neglect associated with parental substance abuse. CFF was contracted to provide evaluation services for FPC when the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) awarded a grant in 2010 to expand services to children affected by methamphetamine (CAM) served by the program.
The evaluation assesses the impact of participation in FPC CAM on parental involvement and engagement in substance abuse treatment, child placement outcomes, and family functioning. Specific adult performance measures include access to treatment, retention in treatment, substance use, supportive services assessed and initiated, employment status, criminal behaviors, and mental health status.
A comparison group of parents and children who were eligible for expanded services but who did not receive them due to program implementation delay was created, while developing a comparison group of standard practice Dependency Drug Court cases for a quasi-experimental design. Data elements from existing substance abuse treatment and child welfare databases are linked and managed through a relational database. Unique identifiers link parents and children in the database, as well as to established instrumentation such as the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), Family Environment Scale (FES), NCFAS and satisfaction surveys.
A comprehensive process evaluation, parent focus groups, program fidelity measures, and the Collaborative Values Inventory (CVI) ensure that program strengths and weaknesses are continually assessed and findings are reported to the FPC Steering Committee on an ongoing basis. CFF also supports FPC through cost analyses, development of marketing documents and presentations to stakeholders, and ongoing sustainability planning.