Nicholson Grant Supports IHRP Pilot for Ocean County Families

The Nicholson Foundation has awarded Preferred Behavioral Health Group (PBHG) a $1.1 million grant to pilot a project in Ocean County that will benefit Ocean County infants and toddlers aged 0-36 months and parents in recovery.

The In-Home Recovery Program (IHRP) implementation is a partnership between The Nicholson Foundation, PBHG, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), the Yale Child Study Center, and Rutgers University School of Social Work.

The IHRP is a multipronged, two-generation, trauma-informed initiative to support parental substance use disorder (SUD) recovery, healthy attachment, family stability, and positive child development.

This treatment model was developed at Yale University to address the dual challenges of parenting and achieving recovery. Since then, it has been expanded and implemented across Connecticut. “The success of Family-Based Recovery in Connecticut provided strong evidence to support the adaptation of the program to serve the families of New Jersey,” said Shannon Ayers, PhD, Senior Program Officer at The Nicholson Foundation. “We chose Ocean County based on the proliferation of individuals struggling with opioid use disorders.  Preferred Behavioral Health Group is a great partner to implement the program because of their experience with and commitment to families in Ocean County along with 40 plus years of experience providing mental health and substance use programs and services.”

Ninety percent of young children (children aged 0–3) who entered care in New Jersey between 2009 and 2012 and experienced reentry within 12 months of reunification had a caregiver with a substance use issue. In addition, 50% of the DCP&P’s families with children aged 0–3 receiving in-home services also had a caregiver with a substance use issue.

In Ocean County, the number of referrals for assessment of substance use disorder of a parent/caregiver in 2018 was nearly 1,200, with 1,160 caregivers subsequently being referred for treatment. Ocean County has long been a county of concern with regard to the opioid crisis in New Jersey and has been identified by DCP&P staff as in need of more effective and readily available interventions. IHRP is an innovative model to respond to the crisis.

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