Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,619,500)
Bucks County, Pennsylvania is the applicant entity, through its Division of Human Services (including the Bucks County Behavioral Health/Developmental Program and the Children and Youth Social Services Agency, along with the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission), in partnership with the courts, law enforcement, and the IJIS Institute, for this grant solicitation under Solicitation Category 1a. Bucks County proposes to develop Project Connect, an interdisciplinary evidence- and performance-based service to the entire nuclear family for persons with substance use disorders (SUD) whose children are in foster care or in relative care of family members including but not limited to grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, parents of friends, etc., or for parents who, but for the provision of this evidence-based service, would have their children in foster care or relative care. Project Connect is an intensive, home -based program designed for parents experiencing challenges related to SUD, mental health problems, and parenting. It is strength-based and trauma-informed and its implementation approach is developed using standardized implementation strategies. This service will decrease recidivism, prevent relapse, maintain families and/or reunite families in a safe and permanent manner. Project Connect is an intensive home and community-based program designed for parents experiencing challenges related to SUD, mental health problems, and parenting. It is strength-based and trauma-informed and its implementation approach is developed using standardized implementation strategies.
This sorely needed proposal centers on a particular issue regarding the impact of SUD on child welfare, the child welfare court system, the law enforcement community, and the foster care system: that issue being providing services to parents with SUD, including parents leaving incarceration or preventing incarceration, and/or parents after receiving non-community-based, residential drug and alcohol treatment, with children in foster care or relative care. This proposal will enable Bucks County to contract with by Children’s Friend, Inc., the Rhode Island agency that created Project Connect, to provide training to the Bucks County staff and the successful provider through an RFP process. As part of the training package, implementation assistance is included in the form of technical support. The formal support varies depending on the needs of the provider and the community.
The outcomes to be achieved through this grant and to be monitored and reported on are (1) decreased substance use; (2) reduced probability of relapse/reoccurrence; (3) lower rates of re-incarceration; and (4) improved family functioning and safety.