TASC’s Recovery Coach Program (RCP)

About This Program

Target Population: Parents of children (aged 0-18) of whom custody has been taken by the State, with a drug or alcohol problem being a substantial reason for DCFS involvement

For organizations that serve children ages: 0 – 18

Program Overview

The Recovery Coach Program (RCP) seeks to improve the outcomes of substance abusing parents compared to those parents receiving traditional alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) services from child welfare workers through the assignment of a Recovery Coach. Recovery Coaches are responsible for providing individualized case management services and aggressive outreach supportive of client substance abuse recovery and reunification with their children when appropriate.

Program Goals

The goals of TASC’s Recovery Coach Program are:

  • Reunification with children
  • Successful termination of alcohol and other drug abuse, including outcomes such as:
    • Complete= substance abuse treatment
    • Clean drug tests for six consecutive months
    • Stable living arrangement
    • Legitimate source of income
    • Reunification with children
    • Adhere to aftercare plans

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for TASC’s Recovery Coach Program (RCP).

Essential Components

The essential components of TASC’s Recovery Coach Program include:

  • Evaluating the client’s and family’s strengths and needs through Intake assessments
  • Addressing the problems identified through case coordination and service planning that are supportive and secondary to child welfare plan
  • Providing ongoing case management through:
    • Linking clients to needed services including:
      • Mental health services
      • Domestic violence services
      • Drug testing
      • Reengagement services when needed
    • Reporting on client and family progress to DCFS/POS, as required and to the courts as necessary
    • Conducting continuous and assertive outreach to clients to engage and reengage them throughout the AODA treatment process, including aftercare
    • Assessing and reporting on the risk of future prognosis for recovery
    • Assessing and reporting on AODA provider performance, client outcomes for all clients served and for subgroups of clients, with specific clinical profiles

Program Delivery

Adult Services

TASC’s Recovery Coach Program (RCP) directly provides services to adults (regardless of whether they are parents or caregivers) and addresses the following:

  • Parental substance abuse; abusive/neglectful parenting behaviors surrounding substance abuse such as mental health problems, domestic violence, and/or inadequate housing via referrals to qualified providers

Recommended Intensity:

Minimum of four contacts per month: two face-to-face contacts and two phone contacts. Recommended minimum of three each for clients in substance abuse treatment. Drug testing is at random twice per month and case management services are provided as needed. The average duration of a face-to-face contact is 1.5 hours and the average duration of a phone contact is 30 minutes.

Recommended Duration:

Approximately 2.5 years

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider

Homework

This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Staffing expectations:

  • Recovery Coach: 25 to 1
  • Senior Recovery Coach: 20 to 1
  • Outreach Worker: 35 to 1
  • Clinical Supervisor: 6 to 1

The Recovery Coach Program maintains a facility that is large enough to safely accommodate the clientele. The physical plant(s) shall be safe, adequately maintained, free from damage, and will contain sufficient equipment and furniture to provide the services offered.

Staff need office support staff, private rooms for assessments, toxicology services, internet access, cars, safety kits for travel, cell phones, and laptops as much of the work is outreach oriented.

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Recovery Coach requirements: Bachelor’s degree preferred, and substance abuse certification CADC certified; may consider CARS, and two years’ experience in the child welfare, substance abuse, or related field.

Supervisory requirements: Master’s Degree in Social Work or related field and IAODAPCA certification preferred, or ability to earn certification within two years and a minimum of three years working in a clinical capacity in substance abuse, domestic violence, family therapy, child welfare, mental health, or other related field.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

The program manual citation is:

  • Gerardy, K., & Walker, R. (2019). TASC Recovery Coach Program Manual. Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities (TASC, Inc.).

It is available through the program contact (see bottom of the page).

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Training can be obtained from TASC in collaboration with TASC’s Center for Health and Justice. The format of training varies by organizational needs. It can be provided onsite, remotely, or in a hybrid fashion.

Number of days/hours:

The duration of training is approximately 35 hours for recovery coaches and 40 hours for supervisors.

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are no pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for TASC’s Recovery Coach Program (RCP).

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of TASC’s Recovery Coach Program (RCP) as listed below:

While the formal implementation support is optional, it is provided in the form of coaching via site visits and/or teleconferencing. Additionally, a program audit occurs once a year. Formal support is available on a consultation basis, which depends on what the site can afford and needs. The formal support serves implementation, fidelity monitoring, staff supervision, and interaction with courts, child welfare, and treatment.

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for TASC’s Recovery Coach Program (RCP) as listed below:

Outcomes and metrics of the Recovery Coach Program include the following:

  • RCP will engage 90% of all clients in RCP services within two working days of referral
  • RCP will conduct orientation meetings for 85% of all clients within three working days of engaging the client in RCP services
  • Recovery Coaches will complete 90% of all RCP Master Recovery Plans within 45 days of the client engaging in RCP services
  • RCP will engage no less than 75% of all referred clients into treatment
  • RCP will ensure that no less than 25% of all clients will complete treatment

Fidelity is measured through provider self-monitoring and self-assessment through internal quarterly file reviews to ensure delivery of quality services. Regular supervision of Recovery Coaches ensures clients are supported at court hearings, Administrative Case reviews when indicated, and that all required paperwork is submitted in a timely and clinically sound manner.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for TASC’s Recovery Coach Program (RCP) as listed below:

The implementation information is included in the Recovery Coach manual:

  • Gerardy, K., & Walker, R. (2019). TASC Recovery Coach Program Manual. Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities (TASC, Inc.).

Section 1 of the Recovery Coach Program Manual includes the following Administrative documents: Program Plan Outline, Standard Operating Procedures Chart, Intake Assessment Policy and Procedures, Service Planning Policy and Procedures, Case Management Policy and Procedures, and Termination Summary and Transition Plan Policy.

Section 2 of the Recovery Coach Program Manual includes the following Program Service documents: Client Summary, Recovery Capital Inventory Form (RCI), Master Recovery Plan (MRP), Relapse Prevention Plan, Recovery Coach Program Activity Log, Data Day Sheet, Treatment Record and Continuing Care System (TRACCS) Monthly Report Form, Termination Summary and Transition Plan Form, and Service Transaction Sheet.

Implementation Cost

There have been studies of the costs of implementing TASC’s Recovery Coach Program (RCP) which are listed below:

Ryan, J. P. (2006). Illinois alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) waiver demonstration final evaluation report. Children and Family Research Center, School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. https://cfrc.illinois.edu/pubs/rp_20060101_IllinoisAlcoholAndOtherDrugAbuse(AODA)WaiverDemonstrationFinalEvaluationReport.pdf

Ryan, J. P., Choi, S., Hong, J. S., Hernandez, P., & Larrison, C. R. (2008). Recovery coaches and substance exposed births: An experiment in child welfare. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32(11), 1072–1079. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.12.011

Ryan, J. P., Marsh, J. C., Testa, M. F., & Louderman, R. (2006). Integrating substance abuse treatment and child welfare services: Findings from the Illinois alcohol and other drug abuse waiver demonstration. Social Work Research, 30(2), 95–107. https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/30.2.95

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement TASC’s Recovery Coach Program (RCP).

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcomes: Safety, Permanency and Child/Family Well-Being

Ryan, J. P., Marsh, J. C., Testa, M. F., & Louderman, R. (2006). Integrating substance abuse treatment and child welfare services: Findings from the Illinois alcohol and other drug abuse waiver demonstration. Social Work Research, 30(2), 95–107. https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/30.2.95

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 738 Families and 1,417 Children

Population:

  • Age — Parents: Mean=32–32.4 years; Children: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Parents: 612 African American and 49 Hispanic; Children: 1,177 African American and 84 Hispanic
  • Gender — Parents: Not specified: Children: 682 Female
  • Status — Participants were substance-involved families involved in the Illinois Child Welfare System that were referred to the Juvenile Court Assessment Program (JCAP).

Location/Institution: Chicago and Cook County, Illinois

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) program [now called TASC’s Recovery Coach Program]. Participants were families that were involved with child welfare agencies and Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (IDCFS) services offices between March 31, 2003, through September 30, 2003, and were randomly assigned to control and TASC demonstration groups. Measures utilized include the data regarding placement, permanency, and child safe obtained from the IDCFS database; data regarding substance abuse assessment, demographic, substance abuse histories, and indications of prior substance-abuse-exposed infants reported by JCAP; and data regarding substance abuse services obtained from the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse’s Automated Reporting and Tracking System (DARTS). Results indicate families assigned to the TASC program used substance abuse services at a significantly higher rate and were more likely to achieve family reunification than were families in the control group. Limitations include that it is unclear as to what recovery coaches were doing to increase access to substance abuse treatment and rates of family reunification; DARTS data failed to provide an accurate picture of which specific services were used; low rate of informed consent might limit confidence in conclusions related to service access; and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Marsh, J. C., Ryan, J. P., Choi, S., & Testa, M. F. (2006). Integrated services for families with multiple problems: Obstacles to family reunification. Children and Youth Services Review, 28(9), 1074–1087. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2005.10.012

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 724 families

Population:

  • Age — Parents: 32 years (average age of youngest caregiver); Children: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Parents: 599 African American, 70 White, and 55 Hispanic; Children: Not specified
  • Gender — Parents: Not specified: Children: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were substance abusing families enrolled in the Illinois Title IV-E Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Waiver Demonstration.

Location/Institution: Chicago and Cook County, Illinois

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of this study was to examine whether it is necessary to go beyond assessment and service access to ensure families make progress in each co-occurring problem area to achieve reunification in the Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) program [now called TASC’s Recovery Coach Program]. Participants were families that were involved with child welfare agencies and Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (IDCFS) services offices between March 31, 2004, and June 30, 2004, and were randomly assigned to control and TASC demonstration groups. Measures utilized include the data regarding placement, permanency, and child safety obtained from the IDCFS database; data regarding substance abuse assessment, demographic, substance abuse histories, and indications of prior substance-abuse-exposed infants reported by JCAP; data regarding substance abuse services obtained from the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse’s Automated Reporting and Tracking System (DARTS); and data from the Treatment Record and Continuing Care System (TRACCS) that capture a wide range of demographics, treatment-related information, and domestic violence, housing, and mental health status. Results indicate that progress in resolving co-occurring problem areas does increase the likelihood of achieving family reunification. Limitations include this study only utilizes a subset of the original population; unknown as to whether clients received or perceived that they received services addressing the co-occurring problems; progress needed to be demonstrated on both parenting and substance abuse as early results from the evaluation indicated that progress in these two areas was insufficient; and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Ryan, J. P., Choi, S., Hong, J. S., Hernandez, P., & Larrison, C. R. (2008). Recovery coaches and substance exposed births: An experiment in child welfare. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32(11), 1072–1079. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.12.011

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 931 families

Population:

  • Age — Parents: Mean=32–33.3 years; Children: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Parents: 81% African American, 14% White, and 5% Hispanic; Children: Not specified
  • Gender — Parents: 100% Female: Children: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were substance abusing women enrolled in a Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration.

Location/Institution: Chicago and Cook County, Illinois

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of this study was to examine whether it is necessary to go beyond assessment and service access to ensure families make progress in each co-occurring problem area to achieve reunification in the Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) program [now called TASC’s Recovery Coach Program]. Participants were families that were involved with child welfare agencies and Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (IDCFS) services offices between June 30, 2004, and December 31, 2005, and were randomly assigned to either a control or TASC experimental condition. Participants in the experimental group received traditional services plus the services of a recovery coach. Measures utilized include administrative records from JCAP and DCFS to indicate substance exposure at birth. Results indicate that of the women enrolled in the waiver demonstration, 21% of the control group and 15% of the TASC experimental group, were associated with a subsequent substantiated allegation indicating substance exposure at birth. Results also indicate that women in the TASC experimental group were significantly less likely to be associated with a new substance-exposed birth. Limitations include the outcome measure in the current study (substantiated report of a substance exposed infant) does not fully capture patterns of substance use throughout pregnancy nor does it represent all substance exposed births; possible that women in the study did indeed deliver a substance exposed infant, yet this birth was not identified; project did not include any measures of fidelity; and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Douglas-Siegel, J. A., & Ryan, J. P. (2013). The effect of recovery coaches for substance-involved mothers in child welfare: Impact on juvenile delinquency. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 45(4), 381–387. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2013.05.010

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 453 families

Population:

  • Age — Parents: Mean=32 years; Children: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Parents: 81% African American, 14% Hispanic, and 5% White; Children: Not specified
  • Gender — Parents: 100% Female: Children: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were substance abusing women enrolled in a Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration.

Location/Institution: Chicago and Cook County, Illinois

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study may utilize some of the families from Ryan et al. (2006), Marsh et al. (2006), and Ryan et al. (2008). The purpose of this study was to test the impact of intensive case management in the form of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) program [now called TASC’s Recovery Coach Program] for substance-involved mothers on youth delinquency outcomes. Participants were families that were involved with child welfare agencies and Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (IDCFS) services offices between January 1, 2000, and March 31, 2012, and were randomly assigned to either a control or TASC experimental condition. Parents in the experimental group received traditional services plus the services of a recovery coach. Measures utilized include the data regarding placement, permanency, and child safe obtained from the IDCFS database; data regarding substance abuse assessment, demographic, substance abuse histories and indications of prior substance abuse-exposed infants reported by JCAP; data regarding substance abuse services obtained from the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse’s Automated Reporting and Tracking System (DARTS); and data from the Treatment Record and Continuing Care System (TRACCS) that capture a wide range of demographic, treatment-related information and domestic violence, housing, and mental health. Results indicate that in comparison to control group participants, families enrolled in the TASC Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) waiver demonstration experienced a lower rate of juvenile arrest, net of factors such as demographic characteristics, primary drug of choice, and time spent in substitute care. Limitations include many of the children in the sample were still relatively young at the end of the data collection period and had not reached the peak offending years (14–16); by limiting sample to youth who were officially reunified with their mothers, the researchers were unable to estimate the effects of substance recovery on children who were not reunified but may have had continued contact with their families; assessment of the relationship between maternal case management by recovery coaches and subsequent youth delinquency was unable to fully identify the precise familial mechanisms through which engagement with recovery coaches reduces the risk of youth offending; can only speculate about which aspects of the recovery coach model were most successful; and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Ryan, J. P., Victor, B. G., Moore, A., Mowbray, O., & Perron, B. E. (2016). Recovery coaches and the stability of reunification for substance abusing families in child welfare. Children and Youth Services Review, 70, 357–363. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.10.002

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 1623 families

Population:

  • Age — Parents: Not specified; Children: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Parents: 1239 African American and 332 White; Children: Not specified
  • Gender — Parents: Not specified; Children: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were substance abusing families enrolled in the Illinois Title IV-E Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Waiver Demonstration.

Location/Institution: Chicago and Cook County, Illinois

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study may include families that were also included in Ryan et al. (2006), Marsh et al. (2006), Ryan et al. (2008), and Douglas-Siegel & Ryan (2013), but includes families enrolled in the demonstration project by 2011. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) program [also called TASC’s Recovery Coach Program] to improve child welfare outcomes for substance abusing families, specifically the probability of families achieving a stable (at least 12 months) reunification. Participants were families that were involved with child welfare agencies and Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (IDCFS) services offices between April 28, 2000, and December 31, 2011, and were randomly assigned to either a control or TASC experimental condition. Measures utilized include the data regarding placement, permanency, and child safe obtained from the IDCFS database; data regarding substance abuse assessment, demographic, substance abuse histories and indications of prior substance abuse-exposed infants reported by JCAP; data regarding substance abuse services obtained from the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse’s Automated Reporting and Tracking System (DARTS); and data from the Treatment Record and Continuing Care System (TRACCS) that capture a wide range of demographic, treatment-related information and domestic violence, housing, and mental health. Results indicate that substance abusing parents associated with a TASC Recovery Coach were significantly more likely to achieve a stable reunification as compared with similar families in the control group. Limitations include outcome measure in the current study (reunification stability) does not capture the reason reunifications are disrupted; absence of any measure of treatment fidelity; and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Ryan, J. P., Perron, B. E., Moore, A., Victor, B. G., & Park, K. (2017). Timing matters: A randomized control trial of recovery coaches in foster care. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 77, 178–184. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2017.02.006

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 3440 children only

Population:

  • Age — Parents: Not specified; Children: 0–3 years old
  • Race/Ethnicity — Parents: Not specified; Children: 2448 African American, 503 Hispanic, and 489 White
  • Gender — Parents: Not specified; Children: 1781 Male
  • Status — Participants were substance abusing families enrolled in the Illinois Title IV-E Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Waiver Demonstration.

Location/Institution: Chicago and Cook County, Illinois

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study may include families that were also included in Ryan et al. (2006), Marsh et al. (2006), Ryan et al. (2008), and Douglas-Siegel & Ryan (2013), but includes families enrolled in the demonstration project by 2012. The purpose of this study was to focus on Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) program [now called TASC’s Recovery Coach Program] to increase the probability of reunification for foster children associated with substance using families with specific attention on the timing of TASC; in particular, the timing of comprehensive screening and access to substance abuse services in relation to the temporary custody hearing. Participants were families that were involved with child welfare agencies and Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (IDCFS) services offices between April 28, 2000, and December 31, 2012, and were randomly assigned to either a control or TASC experimental condition. Measures utilized include the data regarding placement, permanency, and child safe obtained from the IDCFS database; data regarding substance abuse assessment, demographic, substance abuse histories, and indications of prior substance abuse-exposed infants reported by JCAP; data regarding substance abuse services obtained from the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse’s Automated Reporting and Tracking System (DARTS); and data from the Treatment Record and Continuing Care System (TRACCS) that capture a wide range of demographic, treatment-related information and domestic violence, housing, and mental health. Results indicate that early access to substance use services matters (within two months of the temporary custody hearing) but only when parents were connected with TASC (a recovery coach). Additional findings indicate that the recovery coach model eliminated racial disparities in reunification. Limitations include creaming and self-selection into the early screening group (i.e., the program effects are biased toward a group of participants that were most likely to succeed [perhaps even without the help of the intervention]) and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Additional References

Ryan, J. P. (2006). Illinois alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) waiver demonstration final evaluation report. Children and Family Research Center, School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. https://cfrc.illinois.edu/pubs/rp_20060101_IllinoisAlcoholAndOtherDrugAbuse(AODA)WaiverDemonstrationFinalEvaluationReport.pdf

Contact Information

Joel K Johnson
Agency/Affiliation: TASC
Website: www.tasc.org/tascweb/home.aspx
Email:
Phone: (312) 573-2960
Rodney C Walker, MDiv, DMin
Agency/Affiliation: TASC
Website: www.tasc.org/tascweb/home.aspx
Email:
Phone: (312) 573-2938

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: August 2021

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2022

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2022