The overall purpose of the project is to integrate prevention and intervention services with associated services into the Illinois child welfare system, utilizing a child-centered, family-focused model. Children and their families from Cook County will be randomized into two cohorts: intervention vs. control. The project goals developed by the target community are to:
Develop an integrated program of prevention/intervention with associated services for foster children, ages six to eight years, and their biologic and foster families based on the Strengthening Families Program (SFP).
•Promote the protective factors and decrease the risk factors for substance abuse for six to eight year old foster children who have been removed from their birth homes due to substance use problems by enhancing physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and social development.
•Increase birth and foster family support systems and capabilities.
The project will link the SFP Program with health promotion/disease prevention services and community-based supports, utilizing a child-centered, family-focused model. The proposal is a collaborative project between public and private community-based entities dedicated to the welfare of the child and family:
•Children's Research Triangle, parent organization of the National Association for Families and Addiction Research and Education (NAFARE) is a not-for profit organization composed of three institutes: NAFARE - dedicated to research; Child Study Center - a health care center that integrates health and behavioral health care for children; National Training Institute (NTI) - develops educational materials for professionals and the public from information generated by the other institutes.
•the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the State's child protection agency with responsibility for the foster care system;
•the Illinois Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, the agency responsible for all substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment programs in the State;
•Youth Guidance, a private, not- for- profit social service agency dedicated to help disadvantaged inner-city youth become responsible, productive adults;
•The Cook County Juvenile Court System, responsible for adjudicating all child abuse and neglect, reunification, foster care, and adoption cases; and
•The Office of the Cook County Public Guardian, the Guardian-Ad-Litem for children in Cook County.