University at Albany

The NYS Collocation Demonstration Project

A joint initiative from Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Office of Children and Families Services, the New York State Collocation Demonstration Project addressed substance abuse problems among families investigated for child maltreatment.The initiative aimed to improve screening of substance abuse problems, early identification of substance abusing parents and PINS, timely referral and engagement and retention in treatment programs. The project was successfully implemented in 8 upstate counties (Dutchess, Fulton, Genesee, Livingston, Onondaga, Orange, St. Lawrence, and Westchester). The program ran for approximately 2 years but ended prematurely due to state budget cuts.

CHSR’s Evaluation and Project Database
CHSR was responsible for designing and implementing the project database and for overall evaluation. A web-based database was developed to assist program sites and state staff to monitor performance and identity problems early on. The database was linked by family so the family’s progress could be tracked over time.  In addition, the database allowed the project staff and administrator to get reports on caseload and assessment results for a given period (month). The CHSR conducted a process evaluation which culminated into a final report. The process evaluation was consisted of two components. First, the evaluation team conducted interviews and focus groups with frontline workers as well as with project leaders at each program site.  The second part was a cohort study using program data extracted from the project database.

The Collocation Pilot Study
CHSR was awarded an evaluation grant from Children’s Bureau, Administration of Children and Family, Department of Health and Human Services (Grant #90-CW-1111).  The study’s aim was to examine the pilot collocation program. The pilot collocation program was one of models to address parental substance abuse among child welfare populations funded through TANF prevention monies in New York State. Substance treatment agencies were eligible to apply for the funding in partnership with child welfare offices in their region. In 2001, nine programs began to serve child welfare clients and the pilot programs ended in most sites by 2004.

The evaluation focused on the implementation of the model and included seven sites; four programs in primarily rural locations and three programs in New York City.  The findings of this study are encouraging with regards to the possible impact of the collocation model on coordination of services between the child welfare and substance abuse systems. The study recommends that given the dearth of evidence-based programs in child welfare, any innovative interventions developed to serve the child welfare families should be evaluation and pilot-tested before large-scale implementation.

Contact: Dr. Eunju Lee