Families Actively Improving Relationships

Principal Investigator: Lisa Saldana, PhD

FAIR (Families Actively Improving Relationships) was designed to address the needs of parents referred to child welfare services for neglect and substance use, including their co-occurring parenting and substance use needs. Previous research suggests many families referred to child welfare for neglect and substance use experience co-occurring risk factors; accordingly, the FAIR program aims to address these risk factors. FAIR achieved positive outcomes in a small, randomized pilot trial conducted as part of Dr. Saldana’s recently completed NIDA-funded Career Development Award. FAIR is currently being evaluated as part of an efficacy trial funded by the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families.

FAIR is an intensive community-based treatment model that integrates components of two evidence-based behavioral interventions: 1) Parent FAIR_picManagement Training (PMT; Patterson & Forgatch, 2010) developed at the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC) to increase parenting skills, teach and support positive family interactions, and address mental health problems; and 2) Reinforcement Based Therapy a community reinforcement approach of contingency management (RBT; Jones et al., 2005) to address adult substance use. Behavioral principles from these evidence-based interventions are integrated to address parenting, parental substance use, and any ancillary needs presented by the family (e.g., mental health, housing, employment). Ongoing engagement efforts are utilized throughout the 8 month treatment. Outcomes from the pilot suggest that these efforts were successful with 94% of participants randomized to FAIR engaging in treatment and 87% completing the full course of treatment.

The community-based, outpatient, intensive behavioral treatment involves five major components: 1) Teaching and supporting parenting skills including nurturing and attachment, reinforcement, emotion regulation, supervision, non-harsh discipline, and nutrition; 2) Delivering substance abuse treatment including contingency management, relationship building, day planning, healthy environments and peer choices, and refusal skills; 3) Resource building and provision of ancillary supports including housing, employment, support with court and child welfare attendance; 4) Use of incentives (FAIR bucks to spend in the FAIR store) for success with all treatment components; and 5) Ongoing engagement strategies. To implement and integrate these 5 components into one model, the FAIR team includes counselors, skills coaches, a resource builder, and a clinical supervisor.

For further information about FAIR, contact the clinical supervisor at 541-485-2711 or visit odiclinic.org/fair/.

Saldana, L. (2015). An integrated intervention to address the comorbid needs of families referred to child welfare for substance abuse and child neglect: FAIR pilot outcomes. Child Welfare Journal, 94(5). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26827470