Collaborative, Integrated and Trauma-informed Services for Urban American Indian/Alaska Native Children Impacted by Parental Substance Abuse

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Collaborative, Integrated and Trauma-informed Services for Urban American Indian/Alaska Native Children Impacted by Parental Substance Abuse

difrc

4407 Morrison Road, Suite 100
Denver, CO 80219
Phone: (303) 871-8035
Website
Download project description [PDF]

Project Director
Sarah Nelson
snelson@difrc.org

Project Evaluator
Nancy Lucero
nancy.lucero@colostate-pueblo.edu

Sponsoring Organization
Denver Indian Family Resource Center

History & Overview

History & Overview

The Denver Indian Family Resource Center (DIFRC) was created to assist American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and families in metro Denver with child welfare issues.  DIFRC’s goal is to strengthen and support families in order to keep children safely in the care of their biological families and to prevent referral to the child welfare system.  DIFRC works with Native families who have already lost their children to the child welfare system to strengthen and enable them to be reunified with their children.  From its inception in 2000 through 2012, DIFRC served 890 families with 2,079 children.

 

Service Delivery Model

Service Delivery Model

The project will implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of, DIFRC’s integrated and trauma-informed service delivery model for urban Indian child welfare and two evidence-based practices within the model – cultural adaptations of Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and the Nurturing Parenting Program.  The target population for the project will be urban-based AI/AN families residing in the seven county Denver metropolitan area where at least one young child has been exposed to parental-caregiver substance use, including infants with in-utero exposure.  DIFRC’s service delivery model includes intensive case management; parenting skills development; and substance abuse, trauma and mental health treatment for children and adult members.  Further, the project will focus on strengthening and expanding an existing collaborative consortium of community- based agencies from which AI/AN children and families may receive services and will also increase the cultural responsiveness of these agencies and their service delivery staff.

 

Staffing

Staffing

The DIFRC executive director will oversee the project.  Working under the executive director’s supervision will be a project director and licensed psychotherapist.  Other project staff will include a resource and referral specialist and, initially, one social worker, with another to be hired as the caseload warrants.

 

Community Collaboration

Community Collaboration

DIFRC was founded as a collaborative effort between Native controlled community agencies, which include the Denver Indian Center, Inc. and the Denver Indian Health and Family Services.  Collaboration with those agencies remains strong and, through the years, many other collaborative relationships have been formed, including with county child welfare departments, the courts and other service agencies.

 

Evaluation/Outcomes

Evaluation/Outcomes

The evaluation is designed to produce evidence related to the effectiveness of DIFRC’s model of integrated, trauma-informed and collaborative services for urban AI/AN infants, children and families, and, specifically, the model’s role in enhancing the safety, permanency and social and emotional well-being of children in families with parental/caregiver substance use.  The evaluation will also examine the use of two evidence-based practices, TF-CBT and the Nurturing Parenting Program (NPP) and the evidence-informed intervention Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) with AI/AN children and families in order to contribute outcome data to the limited body of knowledge regarding the use of evidence-based practices with this target population.

Additionally, the evaluation will assess the implementation of the service delivery model and the evidence-based practices in a community-based agency to produce findings for improvement of model components and identification of strategies and tools important for model replication in other urban AI/AN settings.  Further, the evaluation will provide feedback to project staff regarding ongoing progress toward goals and objectives as a means of driving continuous quality improvement of services.