Michael F. Easley

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Dempsey Benton

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: December 17, 2007

  Contact: Brad Deen

DSS $2.5 million grant to aid families of addiction

RALEIGH — The N.C. Division of Social Services (DSS) has won a $2.5 million federal grant to help restore families shattered by methamphetamine and other substance abuse issues.

The grant, worth $500,000 per year for five years, will fund a pilot program in Robeson County that treats parents’ or caregivers’ addictions with minimal disruption to families. Robeson County was chosen as a site for the pilot project because of state DSS data indicating a high number of local child welfare cases with substance abuse as a factor in abuse or neglect.

Reflecting the diversity of Robeson County, a slightly disproportionate number of these cases involve African-American and American Indian families. The Lumbee Tribal Government is one of several DSS partners in the project. Issues and needs relating to diversity and health disparity will be addressed in provision of services.

Robeson County Bridge for Families will build on existing substance abuse treatment services to provide a continuum of family-centered care—from acute inpatient treatment to transitional housing to outpatient services. Therapy will be available for children. Local judicial agencies will establish a special Family Drug Treatment Court to support parents or caregivers in recovery, with a goal of keeping families together.

Anticipated results of the Robeson County Bridge for Families project include an increase in families getting help for addictions; extended treatment periods with more positive results; fewer repeat offenses involving maltreatment; reduced time for children in out-of-home placements; enhanced opportunities for parents with substance abuse diagnoses to provide care for their children; and reinforcement of familial bonds.

The $2.5 million Substance Abuse Competitive Grant is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, as part of the Promoting Safe and Stable Families initiative. State-level partners with DSS are the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Governor’s Institute on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, and the NC Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities; local-level partners include the Robeson County Department of Social Services, Judicial District 16B (Robeson County) District Court, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Southeastern Regional Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, Robeson County Guardian Ad Litem, Robeson Health Care Corporation, Robeson County Health Department, Southeastern Family Violence Center and other substance abuse treatment, and health service providers.



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Debbie Crane