Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $1,000,000)
This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law. This program furthers the Departments mission to reduce substance abuse (including opioid abuse) by supporting rigorous research and evaluation efforts that inform the development of and improvements to family drug courts designed to address parental substance abuse and promote family reunification.
The purpose of the Oklahoma Multi-Site Family Drug Court (FDC) Model Standards Study (OKMSS) is to significantly advance FDC implementation research at the state level. The specific goals of the study are to (1) measure model standards implementation at organizational and individual levels, (2) test the association between model standards implementation and FDC outcomes, (3) clarify the FDC target population, and (4) analyze the cost effectiveness of model standard implementation.
Twelve Oklahoma participating courts (three FDCs and nine child welfare comparison courts) will be assessed annually using the model standards organizational scale. Clients in participating dockets will be interviewed within 30 days of adjudication to determine substance abuse severity and risk, need, and responsivity factors known to influence child welfare and substance use outcomes. Propensity score matching will generate the most rigorous comparison group to date. Model standards individual scores will be measured for FDC and matched comparison participants using administrative child welfare and treatment data. Thereafter, proportional hazards modeling will compare treatment groups to comparison groups to determine the effects of model standards receipt and client risk and need factors on treatment and child welfare outcomes of interest. Economic analysis will evaluate the cost difference of services use between FDC and matched comparison cases.
The OKMSS will be conducted in partnership with the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Family Drug Courts, and Biomedical and Behavioral Methodology Core of the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. The OKMSS will substantially increase generalizable knowledge of the FDC model and lay the foundation for courts, policymakers, and researchers to improve FDC practices across the country. In addition to presenting the formative and summative findings from the study through scholarly outlets, the research team will share findings with stakeholders throughout Oklahoma and with key organizations (including Children and Family Futures, and the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare) to ensure broad dissemination through FDC technical assistance and practice-friendly publications.