FY 22 Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START)

Grants and Contracts Details


The Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) program integrates what is known as best practice in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services, child welfare practice, and family preservation services to deliver a service approach that addresses the special needs of SUD-affected families involved with DCBS. The overall goals of START include child safety, parental sobriety, timely child permanency and family self-sufficiency. The counties served by START in FY 2021 include Boyd, Kenton, Fayette, Daviess, Martin, Boone, Campbell, Jefferson and one other county to be determined. Objective I: Implement the Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) program in collaboration with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Department for Community Based Services A specially trained Child Protective Services (CPS) worker is paired with a Family Mentor to share a caseload of families with the co-occurring issues of substance abuse and child maltreatment where at least one child is 5 or younger. The Family Mentor serves as a peer support specialist and brings real life experience to the team. They are a recovering person with at least 3 years’ sobriety and previous CPS involvement. This person is rigorously screened and intensively trained and supervised to provide START clients with both recovery coaching and help navigating the CPS system. Reduced caseloads are provided for the START team of 12-15 families per worker/mentor pair. The program fosters integration between CPS, substance use disorder treatment providers, and other community partners by addressing differences in professional perspectives that have resulted in fragmentation of services. The service delivery model provided through START is more frequent, intense and coordinated. It seeks to intervene quickly upon receipt of the referral to CPS. Quick access to substance use disorder treatment is established through START. Additionally, there is close collaboration among CPS and service providers, and shared decision-making among all team players, including the family. START personnel collaborate with community partners, substance use disorder treatment providers, the courts, and the child welfare system, all of which are dedicated to building community capacity and making START work. The program supports sober parenting for meeting basic needs such as housing, transportation, childcare and intensive in home services. Objective II: Provide personnel for leadership and oversight of the START program in Kentucky START administrators provide programmatic consultation with the on-site DCBS supervisor, frontline staff, and Service Region Administrator. They work with DCBS leadership to review and evaluate outcomes and statewide expansion efforts. They also provide oversight and consultation to the contracted behavioral health agencies to ensure START model fidelity. Objective III: Provide personnel to serve in the capacity of START Family Mentors Family Mentors serve as team members with DCBS staff in planning, supporting and implementing strategies for building strong partnerships with community providers to help parents whose children have been placed in out-of-home care or at risk of out-of-home care placement due to substance abuse issues within the family. Family Mentors assist the DCBS social worker and family through support of sobriety recovery efforts of the parent. They escort parents to substance abuse treatment sessions, medical, educational, social service or mental health appointments. They also coach the parent/family on how to navigate recovery support, budgeting, community services, and resources, which can include housing, food, clothing and furniture. Family Mentors communicate with clients, other agencies and the general public. Family Mentors provide information and referrals to community services while assisting in Proposed Scope of Work University of Kentucky, College of Social Work Training Resource Center Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) Program July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022 scheduling appointments as needed for the family or child. They create, organize and maintain case files for the START team and attend committee meetings, staff meetings, agency training and related conferences. The Lead Family Mentor position encompasses the responsibilities of the Family Mentor position in addition to assisting with recruitment, screening and hiring of new family mentors. They also attend/participate in direct line meetings at each site with START administrators/directors. The Lead Family Mentor plans/co-facilitates family mentor meetings. They also provide on-site and virtual onboarding, coaching and support for new family mentors. They serve as first line of communication for concerns/support for family mentors and remain in close communication with both DCBS supervisors and START administrators around issues as they arise. They work with DCBS supervisors to complete performance evaluations for family mentors, provide training and ongoing coaching on START Information Network (STARTIN) data, and follow up on all aspects of the training plan for Family Mentors. Objective IV: Develop and implement ongoing virtual service provision plans Program staff will develop and implement continuity plans for START program services using virtual platforms and technologies. These virtual service provision plans will be executed as needed to ensure the continuity of START program services.
Effective start/end date7/1/206/30/22


  • KY Department of Community Based Services: $4,085,000.00


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