Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $899,999)
The Gaston County, NC Project to Serve Children Impacted by the Opioid Crisis will bring together multiple county entities, substance abuse treatment providers, law enforcement, Courts, health care providers, and the faith-based community to collaborate in providing a seamless and integrated system of referrals and services for children who have been victimized by the opioid crisis in this County.
Under the supervision of Gaston County Health and Human Services-Children and Family Division, a Therapeutic Center will be initiated in a child-friendly space donated by a local church. The center will provide the following services for children impacted by substance abuse: supervised visitation therapeutic services for children in foster care whose case has been referred to the center by the Courts and program participation is a part of the disposition order; direct therapeutic services for opioid impacted children who fall into the service gap of having neither private insurance nor Medicaid; counseling and therapeutic services for foster care children who were removed from their homes because of substance abuse and are aging out of the system; children whose parents are receiving treatment through the Drug Recovery Court, a county initiative to support rehabilitation rather than incarceration for opioid users; and children whose parent(s) has been assigned by the Courts to the Restorative Justice Center, a licensed outpatient substance abuse treatment center that provides both intensive and regular out-patient services free of charge .
Partners in this project include all divisions of Gaston County Health and Human Services (e.g. Public Health and Social Services). The non-profits, Phoenix Counseling Center, the substance abuse treatment provider for DDaTT participants, and Alternative Community Penalties Program (ACPP), the umbrella agency for the Restorative Justice Center, are also collaborative partners in this project. These agencies will make referrals of children who are in need of services and whose parents are in the respective treatment program. All therapeutic services will be provided by a licensed clinician with expertise in trauma-informed care. Therapeutic services will be evidence-based using Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy—TF-CBT.
Staff will include a licensed clinician, and three licensed social workers serving as the Case Manager, the Parent Support Specialist, and the Project Supervisor for fifty percent of the time and the Community Advocate for the other fifty percent. The program anticipates serving a minimum of 50 children each year of the program.