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Sonoma County Dependency Drug Court (DDC): Year Three Evaluation Findings

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2012
58 pages
This report presents the results of an evaluation of Sonoma County's Dependency Drug Court.
This report presents the results of an evaluation that compared the direct effects of participation in Sonoma County's Dependency Drug Court (DDC) with non-participation in the program. The evaluation found no statistically significant difference between participants and non-participants in terms of treatment admission rates, timing of case start date and entry into treatment, length of time in treatment, type of treatment - outpatient versus detox, the number of treatment episodes, discharge status, and parent characteristics at discharge. In regards to child welfare service outcomes, children of participants were more likely to be reunified with their parents, experienced significantly shorter stays in foster care, experienced significantly fewer removals from the care of parents or caregivers, and experienced significantly fewer placement changes while in foster care compared to children of non-participants. The data for this report was obtained evaluations completed by participants in Sonoma County's DDC Strengthening Families Program. The DDC is a 12-month court supervised treatment program for families whose children have been removed from or are at risk of being removed from the home as a result of child abuse or neglect associated with the mother's substance abuse problem. The primary objective of the evaluation was to determine the direct effects of participation in the DDC Strengthening Families Program. Two areas were assessed in terms of program effectiveness: substance abuse treatment services and child welfare service outcomes. The evaluation's findings indicate that while the program had a positive impact on child welfare service outcomes, program participants would benefit from an increased focus on substance abuse treatment engagement and retention. An increased focus on marketing and sustainability is also recommended for improving the program. Tables, figures, and attachment

Date Published: September 1, 2012