New National Map of Family-Based Recovery Programs Available

One of the many changes within the Family First Prevention Services Act is a provision allowing children to stay with their parent in a residential substance abuse treatment program. And now, a comprehensive list of those programs are available for parents, practitioners and policymakers.

Before the law was passed, federal funds under the Title IV-E entitlement were mostly limited to foster care placements and adoption subsidies. Under Family First, a placement of children into residential treatment with their parent can be counted as a foster care payment under IV-E, even though the family remained together.

That update is in line with the general spirit of the Family First Act, which expanded the IV-E entitlement to include services aimed at preventing the use of foster care in some cases. The residential recovery provision allows a state to keep families together with the same money that would have been used for foster care.

To help promote the increased use of this approach, two nonprofits have mapped out the nation’s existing programs in the Family Based Residential Treatment Directory. The directory was put together by Wilder Research and Volunteers of America (VOA), with funding support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The list was compiled using records from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration along with a national study by Wilder and VOA. It currently includes information on 363 programs operated by 299 different organizations in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Delaware and Idaho are the only states that do not have a program listed in the directory.

Each entry includes the name of the program and the managing organization, along with its address, phone number and website. It also lists the maximum age of children allowed, the number of family units available, and the maximum size of any family unit that can live at the program.

You can access the directory on the Volunteers of America’s website about family-focused treatment.

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John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change
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John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change. Reach him at