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Recovery Coaching Interventions for Families Involved with the Child Welfare System: Moving Toward Evidence-Based Practices

Kimberly Francis, Jessica Thornton Walker, Jill Hamadyk, and Sandra Jo Wilson, Abt Global


April 23, 2021

This report – part of the first phase of the Expanding Evidence on Replicable Recovery and Reunification Interventions for Families project – describes features of nine select interventions that use recovery coaches for families involved in the child welfare system due to parental substance use disorder (SUD). The report characterizes the interventions’ current stage of readiness for replication and further evaluation, and informs a long-term effort by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to build high-quality evidence on the impact of recovery coaching on parent well-being and child permanency and safety. Overall, based on an assessment of nine interventions, the field of recovery coaching in child welfare is in the beginning stages of a high-quality evidence base, with opportunity for the field to continue building knowledge. The next step in evidence-building calls for replicating promising candidate interventions in new locations and testing them with a rigorous impact evaluation.