Expanding Evidence on Replicable Recovery and Reunification Interventions for Families

2019 - 2022

The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (Public Law 115-271) authorizes $15 million in funding for the US Department of Health and Human Services to replicate an intervention utilizing recovery coaches for parents engaged in the child welfare system due to substance use disorders that demonstrates favorable parental recovery outcomes and shortens time to reunification. The replication includes a three-part evaluation:

  1. a pilot study;
  2. an impact study that includes random assignment and multiple follow-ups of participating families over a 5-year period, and;
  3. an implementation study conducted concurrently with the impact study.

The Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) Children’s Bureau and Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are conducting the first phase of the Expanding Evidence on Replicable Recovery and Reunification Interventions for Families (R3) project, a feasibility study that lays the foundation for ACF to conduct the three-part evaluation. The R3 project has two goals. The first goal is to compile and disseminate a synthesis on the existing body of evidence of recovery and reunification interventions that utilize coaching models to the field. The second goal is to determine the feasibility of conducting a rigorous impact evaluation of one or more potentially replicable and scalable interventions.

To do this, the R3 project will:

  1. identify family recovery and reunification interventions that use recovery coaches and are suitable for moving to the next level of evidence;
  2. engage relevant experts and stakeholders who have valuable knowledge to contribute to the project;
  3. identify sites appropriate for the evaluation; and
  4. design and implement a feasibility study to inform an impact evaluation of selected interventions.

This contract was awarded to Abt Associates and its subcontractors, Faces and Voices of Recovery and Joseph Ryan (University of Michigan School of Social Work).

Point(s) of contact: Calonie Gray and Kelly Jedd McKenzie.

Information collections related to this project have been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under ACF’s Generic Clearance for Formative Data Collections for ACF Research (OMB #0970-0356). Related materials are available at the Expanding Evidence on Replicable Recovery and Reunification Interventions for Families Visit disclaimer page page on RegInfo.gov.

Related Resources

This report — part of the first phase of the Expanding Evidence on Replicable Recovery and Reunification Interventions for Families (R3) project — describes features of select interventions that use recovery coaches in the child welfare system, characterizes their current stage of readiness for replication and further evaluation, and informs a long-term effort by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to build high-quality evidence on recovery coaching interventions for families involved with the child welfare system.