Arizona Families F.I.R.S.T. (AFF)

Evaluates the process and outcomes of an interagency initiative designed to meet the needs of child welfare involved families where parental substance abuse is a causative factor.

Funding: The Arizona Joint Substance Abuse Treatment Fund, established by the Legislature in 2000.

Partners: Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES) Division of Children Youth and Families (DCYF); Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS); and nine community providers working with four Regional Behavioral Health Authorities.

Program Description: AFF provides a seamless system of coordinated care for parents whose substance use is a significant barrier to maintaining or reunifying the family after children have been removed from the home. It begins with expedited intervention and evidence-based substance abuse treatment through the state's Medicaid system. The service model includes face-to-face engagement, supportive services, transportation, housing, and aftercare services for relapse management, all provided in a culturally sensitive and family-centered manner. The program has five goals: (1) increased timeliness and accessibility of services; (2) recovery from alcohol and drug problems; (3) child safety; (4) permanency for children through reunification; and (5) self-sufficiency through employment.

CABHP's Role: CABHP serves as an external program monitor, conducting program evaluations to monitor AFF's progress toward its goals. We collect and analyze client-level data from the program to produce quarterly and annual reports and annual report summaries.

Principal Investigator: Michael Shafer, Ph.D.

Project Manager: Michael Shafer, Ph.D.

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