SALs made several adjustments to alleviate the impact of fluctuating treatment resources.
They quickly educated their CPS staff that funding was not available at certain times for most types of parents, particularly those low on the federal list, such as men. Although substance abuse treatment remained featured in parents’ plans, the CPS workers encouraged them to participate in PTP while on the waiting list.
Length and frequency of SAL contacts increased to support parents over a longer waiting period.
In Region III, onsite drug testing (iScreen, which uses a lollipop) was implemented with PTP participants to support abstinence during the waiting period. This approach was implemented in Region III since there were no local labs and transportation was a barrier. In Regions I and IV, the CPS workers routinely assigned parents to drug testing at local labs.
To provide additional support, the Pre-Treatment group meeting in Region IV met longer (1 ½ hours) and introduced education about drugs and alcohol. The group increased from two to three people to six to eight people in January 2005. In Region III, individual meetings continued, as parents were dispersed throughout many small rural towns. The SAL introduced a behavioral plan involving contracting on abstinence and attending meetings to support parents during the wait period. However, according to the SAL in this region, because of the seriousness of parents’ DOA problems, it was extremely difficult to keep them engaged over this long period. As she stated, “They had months to rationalize, blame, and get away from personal responsibility.”
Implementation of Motivational Interviewing Model
Training for SALS occurred on four different occasions: June 25-26, 2003; October 16- 17, 2004; January 6, 2004; and January 28, 2005. Motivational Interviewing training was pro- vided by an experienced trainer and the Substance Abuse Consultant from ICWRTC. Training for the project evaluation was provided by the evaluation team for the program. Preparation for the training involved coordination and design meetings with the two principal trainers, gathering supplies and handouts, securing room sites, developing feedback forms, coordinat- ing training dates with all parties, and enlisting the Program Director of the ICWRTC to give an overview of state evaluation priorities for the future in relation to the PTP.
SALs consistently attended training sessions to enhance their skills in MI techniques. Skills were assessed as satisfactory by the evaluator and the MI Trainer through case staffings and role-play activities.
Idaho Pre-Treatment Program