Parent review feedback summary

  • Parent reviewers unanimously agree START would benefit families and recommend child welfare departments to implement this program in their systems.
  • Parents shared their desire to see increased support after participants complete the program; they questioned what continued care looks like for parents struggling with addiction and their families.
  • Reviewers found it important that administers of these programs take some of the classes to have a better understanding of addiction and be less judgmental when working on cases where addiction is present.

What is the intervention?

The Ohio Sobriety Treatment and Reducing Trauma (START) model was implemented in 2017 in response to the opioid epidemic facing Ohio families. The model expanded from the 17 counties in Appalachian Ohio to the entire state, now being offered in 54 counties. The project is a wraparound approach for at-risk parents, with the overall goal to stabilize families harmed by parental drug use. START better connects child welfare agencies to substance use disorder treatment providers and other organizations to contextualize addiction as a family disease. This program believes the parent-child component is a required component of substance use disorder and addiction recovery. The START Model:

  • Collaborates with multiple systems to build community capacity to implement
  • Is a holistic assessment for parents that addresses trauma and mental health as links to substance use and addiction
  • Provides services for children to promote attachment, reduce effects of trauma, and provide developmental supports
  • Caps caseloads to maintain a productive, effective, and intensive intervention for each family
  • Supports like housing, transportation, childcare, and in-home services
  • Is an open feedback environment where participating parents can evaluate START and identify opportunities for improvement
  • And more

What makes it a Bright Spot?

START is a tool that enables families to live stable and addiction-free lives, strengthens bonds and heals trauma between children and parents impacted by addiction. Part of what makes START so successful is its attempt through a family-centered approach to address differences in professional perspective among courts, child welfare agencies, and health providers regarding substance use disorder and addiction. Families, upon referral, are active in the decision-making of their plan with START. Out of 139 families, 93 successfully closed their cases with CPS in 2022.

What steps can you take?


These downloadable resources may help provide additional context and information about this family-approved resource for systems change.

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