Flo A. SteinFlo A. Stein, MPH
NC PIC Project Manager
Deputy Director
Division of MH/DD/SAS


Robeson County Bridges for Families Program

Linking NCPIC Practices to Create a Model for a Rural Community
bridges_logoThe research to practice translation gap is not unique to any one field of practice.  Once providers have some awareness of evidence-based practices and understand the value of adding new treatment models to their programs, the key concerns of administrators regarding funding for training and support for clinical supervision in the new models can be addressed through grant funded demonstration programs which are closely evaluated to allow for future replication.

One example of this approach, used to expand services in a rural community through training in and adoption of evidence-based treatment models, is the Robeson County Bridges for Families program (RCBF).  Funded by a Regional Partnership Grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families, the primary clients served by the program are substance-involved families referred from the Robeson County Department of Social Services (DSS) or Family Drug Treatment Court (FDTC) and/or from a range of parenting support, mental health, and substance abuse treatment services.

In addition to the necessary legal, substance abuse, and mental health services for client families, the RCBF program provides or arranges for gender-specific and family-focused wrap-around services that address related issues such as parenting skills, safety and domestic violence, poverty, transportation, social support, and child care.

Since its inception in Fall 2008, the program has added a family drug treatment court; has expanded treatment, including enhanced residential care and transitional housing for families; and has put into operation four new evidence-based substance abuse services: Matrix Model, Seeking Safety, Strengthening Families, and Trauma Focused–Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  These evidence-based treatment/prevention models were recommended for full adoption by the NCPIC in 2006-2007.  For more information about the evidence-based practices being used by Bridges click below.

  Evidence Based Practices Being Used in Robeson Bridges for Families (13.4 KiB)

Early reports from clients enrolled in one or more of these evidence-based models have been positive. Staff also expressed their appreciation for the models and for the changes they see in client families. However, over one-year has passed since the initial training of clinicians in the models. New clinicians have been hired and the need for booster sessions for all clinical and prevention staff has been identified. We have learned that successful implementation of evidence-base treatment models requires ongoing training and clinical supervision to assure fidelity to the models. The ability to support services through grant funding or billable service codes is also critical to success. Over the next three years, evaluators for the program will continue to monitor success and challenges for this small demonstration program and lessons learned will be shared.

As a participant from year one stated “I am doing good, I feel good about myself. I started back considering my needs. As for trying to look for work and going to the doctor when I need too. I am also learning to take my medication as prescribed. They gave me a place to stay and took me in when my own family would not. My children are being taken care of the proper way and last but not least I have people supporting me along the way.”

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