Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START)

Scientific Rating:
Promising Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5

Additional Implementation Resources

Since this program Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) was highly rated on the Scientific Rating Scale, program representatives were asked to provide additional implementation information.

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) as listed below:

The second chapter of the START Implementation Manual, available from the training contact listed above upon request, is designed for those exploring the fit of START in their agency. It includes a readiness assessment and site selection checklists. Checklists help leadership determine whether key elements are currently in place to support the model, what prework might be needed, and what data are important to site selection.

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) as listed below:

Ongoing TA, coaching, and consultation can be provided to leadership and front-line staff to help navigate and work through implementation issues and barriers. Children and Family Futures (CFF), the national home of the START model, will work with sites to customize a package for consultation, training, and TA for every stage of implementation, varying budgets and needs based on the status of the site on readiness, partnerships with SUD treatment providers, the courts and other factors. The goals of the training, coaching and consultation are to:

  • Ensure that the START model is first understood and selected to match the capacity and readiness of each site, adapted to the jurisdiction with the guidance of the TA consultants, and then implemented with fidelity.
  • Reinforce and coordinate START implementation with related child welfare, court improvement efforts and other initiatives in the jurisdiction.
  • Build the capacity of leadership and practitioners to implement and sustain START independently following the consultation, training and technical assistance.
  • Support the development of a learning organization culture incorporating program evaluation principles, ongoing quality improvement, and data driven decisions.

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) as listed below:

Fidelity measures are embedded into a data collection system and ideally similar data collection systems should be developed by those adopting the model. The evaluation of fidelity includes explicit directions through process evaluation and data collection/analysis. These instructions are available from the purveyor and are included in the START Implementation Manual.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) as listed below:

A detailed implementation manual is housed with CFF and is only available in conjunction with technical assistance and training. This 220-page manual includes chapters on the stages of implementation and the essential components of START, program evaluation, family mentors, child welfare practices, working with SUD treatment providers, and essential meetings. Practice guides address topics such as drug testing and minimum work standards; sample protocols and forms are included. The reference for this manual is the same as the program manual listed above:

  • Willauer, T., Posze, L., & Huebner, R. A. (Eds.). (2018). The Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) Model: Implementation Manual. Children and Family Futures.

The first chapter of the manual, that explores the model and its theoretical base, is available for download at The full manual is available to jurisdictions with training and technical assistance contracts through Children and Family Futures.

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has been conducted on how to implement Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) as listed below:

Huebner, R. A., Hall, M. T., Smead, E., Willauer, T., & Posze, L. (2018). Peer mentoring services, opportunities, and outcomes for child welfare families with substance use disorders. Children and Youth Services Review, 84, 239-246.

Huebner, R. A., Posze, L., Willauer, T. M., & Hall, M. T. (2015). Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams: Implementation fidelity and related outcomes. Substance Use & Misuse, 50(10), 1341-1350.

Sears, J. S., Hall, M. T., Harris, L. M., Mount, S., Willauer, T., Posze, L., & Smead, E. (2017). "Like a marriage": Partnering with peer mentors in child welfare. Child and Youth Service Review, 74, 80-86.