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Volunteers of America-Miracles: Family Recovery Support
Volunteers of America-Miracles: Family Recovery Support

Project Description: Program partners created a targeted Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC) for parents in recovery from alcohol and other drug abuse who are either engaged with or at risk of engagement with child welfare. Services are trauma informed, strengths-based, and designed to be culturally responsive to the growing African American population in East Portland. Each participant works collaboratively with staff to develop a Recovery Support Services Plan and works with one or all of the following: Recovery Support Mentor, Resource Specialist, or Family Therapist. Services include: transportation support, employment assistance, case management, outreach, housing assistance, relapse prevention, childcare, peer-to-peer services, self help and support groups, life skills, and parenting education. The collaboration also offers trauma-informed individual and group counseling services to address parent, child, and family concerns. This inclusion enhances child and family outcomes through addressing family trauma, and increasing family stability. FRS is housed in a dedicated site that serves as a drop-in center offering families the opportunity to develop a community of support and access to a wide array of resources. 

Project Goals: 

  • Help parents and families sustain recovery 
  • Improve child well-being 
  • Improve parent well-being 
  • Improve permanency and safety for families 
  • Improve family functioning and stability 
  • Reduce the count of African American children entering or returning to foster care
  • Create an enhanced and sustainable Recovery Oriented System of Care

Target Enrollment in Recovery Support Services: 680 parents total, 136 annually over the five year grant period. 

Evaluation Goals. A comprehensive outcome and process evaluation is being used to assess the extent to which (1) the participants experienced the outcomes expected from the intervention, (2) the project has achieved its stated goals and objectives, and (3) which program strategies can be attributed to program effectiveness. 

Outcome Evaluation: The outcome study involves a comparison group design with 400 families: 200 in the intervention group, 200 in the comparison group. It measures client outcomes for FRS families (intervention group) and other similar FIT families who experience services as usual (comparison group), with data collection points at baseline and 6-months post-baseline. Data will be gathered directly from parents in each group, as well as from OR-Kids (i.e., Oregon’s child welfare data system) and MOTS (i.e., Oregon’s substance abuse treatment data system) databases. 

Process Evaluation: A process evaluation is included to get a complete picture of project implementation. The goal of the process evaluation is to complement the outcome study with the voices and feedback of parents, program staff and agency/system representatives. This information is being gathered in the individual parent interviews described above, focus groups with program participants, interviews with program staff and key stakeholders, surveys with agency/system representatives, and program service record reviews.