Connecticut Sets New Policy To Help Families Fighting Substance Abuse (New Canaan)

By Donna Christopher

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Parents struggling with substance use disorders will benefit from a new initiative, according to an announcement by Gov. Dannel Malloy and other government officials.

Malloy, along with White House National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli, Commissioner on Children, Youth and Families Rafael López, Connecticut Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz and other federal and local officials recently made the announcement to launch the innovative strategy in Connecticut.

The goals are to better serve hundreds of families struggling with the effects of substance use and promote family stability.

The Connecticut Family Stability Pay for Success project will utilize Pay for Success — a public-private partnership — to drive government resources toward effective social services via an outcomes-based contract.

The project expands a tested, intensive, in-home program to families involved with DCF who struggle with substance use, while linking performance to outcomes.

The Pay for Success project will support new treatment teams delivering Family-Based Recovery to families in need.

Each treatment team regularly will visit a client’s home several times per week to promote positive parent-child interactions, increase parental awareness and understanding of child development and help parents on their path to substance use recovery.

The teams, comprised of two clinicians and one family support worker, will visit households three times per week for the first six months of the initiative, after which programming would be tailored to the needs of individual families.

Connecticut has a similar initiative for families with children ages 3 and younger.

Research conducted by the University of Connecticut and Yale University indicates this type of programming results in fewer children removed from their homes, less parent stress and decreased levels of substance use, according to Malloy's announcement.

The program will be scaled-up to serve households with children, ages 6 and younger, with approximately 500 new families in Connecticut benefiting during the next four-and-a half years.

The expanded program will create six new family recovery teams and will reach new areas, including Waterbury, Danbury, Torrington, Norwich, the Middletown region and New Haven, said the announcement.