A new study released by the Urban Institute examines the CARE Project in Warren County Ohio, offering interim findings and recommendations for future actions.
The Child Assessment and Response Evaluation (CARE) Project, is a 24/7 rapid response intervention for children at the scene of an overdose of a parent or loved one in Warren County, Ohio. Engaging in a collaborative effort, stakeholders representing law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, emergency dispatch and child services work to quickly identify and refer the child at the scene to the appropriate services.
Recognizing that children who are exposed to this type of trauma stand a greater likelihood of experiencing poor health and other outcomes, and as such, may need additional assistance, the CARE project identifies those in greater need, and assists with the development of a comprehensive family-centered plan. The purpose of this plan is to help meet their needs, and build resilience in an effort to decrease the chances that they too will develop a substance use disorder.
The Addiction Policy Forum (APF) is a member of this collaboration that began in 2018, and has provided subject matter expertise and technical assistance in the implementation and expansion of the CARE Project. APF’s first assignment was the creation of a blueprint for the County which gave an overview of the opioid problem while providing a list of recommendations to address the issue. From this list, the County determined it wanted to prioritize the protection of children impacted by parental substance use disorder, which led to the creation of this initiative.
The Urban Institute is a partner in this effort and based on data collection, focus group meetings and routine teleconferences with stakeholders on the ground, recently released a series of interim findings and recommendations on what has transpired to date.
Specifically, they found that interagency collaboration has been strong, that the program has gained a number of important champions in the County, and that while anecdotal, Children Services has reported an increase in referrals of children at overdose scenes. They also offer a number of substantive recommendations for further action to strengthen the program moving forward.
Finally, the Urban Institute concluded that while the CARE project has shown some “initial promise” in bettering the coordination and communication of on the ground service providers and those in the community, stakeholders can strengthen CARE by improving “data collection at overdose scenes, facilitating ongoing trainings, and actively troubleshooting implementation challenges.”
For the full report from the Urban Institute, please click on the following link: https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/102502/assessment-of-warren-countys-care-project_0.pdf