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Innovative Pay for Success Program Expands Family Based Recovery Program at CMHA

CMHA's Family Based Recovery program is pleased to announce its participation in the Connecticut Family Stability Pay for Success (PFS) project, an innovative new program that will help 500 Connecticut families with young children who are in need of services to help ensure family stability and keep young children at home with their parents.  The Connecticut Family Stability Pay for Success program will combine nonprofit expertise, private funding, and independent evaluation to promote family stability and reduce parental substance abuse for families in the Department of Children and Families (DCF) system.

Funded by the Connecticut DCF, CMHA’s Family Based Recovery (FBR) program provides in home substance abuse treatment for families who are struggling with addiction and have a young child(ren) at home. FBR teams currently serve clients in Danbury, Meriden, New Britain, Torrington, and Waterbury.  Through the Connecticut Family Stability Pay for Success Program, CMHA will hire two (2) additional FBR Clinical Teams to work with clients in the Waterbury, Torrington and Danbury areas.  FBR Clinical Teams visit their clients’ homes several times per week to develop trust, help keep parents sober and substance-free, address underlying parental issues such as depression and trauma, and help parents create strong bonds with their children.  FBR empowers parents to take charge of their lives and helps them become better parents to keep children at home.

“Family Based Recovery is a model that works. Our data shows that within five months of stay in the FBR program, 70% of clients have stopped using illegal drugs. Considering that close to 30% of our mothers were using opioids during their pregnancy – this is a phenomenal outcome,” said CMHA Vice President of Planning and Performance Improvement Marie Mormile-Mehler.

Through the PFS model, the government repays private investors only if the program meets predetermined outcomes. An independent evaluator, UConn Health Center, will measure the effects of the program that demonstrate a return on investment based on specific metrics that benefit both individuals and society. Previous research conducted by Yale Child Study Center, the FBR model originator, shows that FBR is highly effective in reducing parental substance abuse, improving parent child relationships, reducing parent stress and keeping families together.  Yale Child Study Center will continue to have the lead role in providing training and consultation to new FBR teams in the model.

CMHA’s staff and FBR clients joined others around the state, Governor Malloy, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, and US Department of Children Youth and Families Commissioner Rafael Lopez for the PFS Initiative Kickoff on September 28 at Community Health Center in Middletown. CMHA's Victor Incerti and Deb Borzellino are pictured with Vanessa Dorantes and Kristina Stevens of DCF at the kickoff. 

“Finding innovative ways to support promising programs that tackle chronic social issues is a continuous endeavor.  Pay for Success is the right tool at the right time,” Governor Dannel Malloy said.  “Connecticut, like so many other states, faces increased urgency for effective substance use treatment services to help families stay together.  As we strengthen family stability and improve home conditions for children, life-long outcomes will surely improve for our children and families who need help the most.”

Previously serving only families with children up to age three, thanks to PFS funding, CMHA’s FBR will serve households with children aged six years or younger. Project funders include BNP Paribas, QBE Insurance Group Limited, Reinvestment Fund, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Nonprofit Finance Fund and two anonymous family foundations.


 CMHA Chief Program Officer Victor Incerti, CMHA Child & Family Services Program Officer Deb Borzellino, DCF Regional Administrator Vanessa Dorantes, and DCF Administrator Kristina Stevens at the PFS Initiative kickoff on September 28 at Community Health Center in Middletown. 

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