Research That Matters (January 17 - 20, 2008)

Friday, January 18, 2008: 10:00 AM-11:45 AM
Empire Ballroom (Omni Shoreham)
[CW] Matching Services to Client Needs in Substance Abuse and Child Welfare
Symposium Organizer:Jeanne C. Marsh, PhD, University of Chicago
Matching Service to Improve Family Reunification: Co-Occuring Problems for Substance Abusing Mothers in Child Welfare
Sam Choi, PhD, Joseph P. Ryan, PhD
Matching Services to Client Needs in Comprehensive Substance Abuse Treatment
Jeanne C. Marsh, PhD, Dingcai Cao, PhD
Needs-Service Matching in Residential Treatment Centers for Youth
Brenda D. Smith, PhD, Camela M. Steinke
Abstract Text:
The increasing numbers of clients who seek services for multiple, co-occurring problems has led to the development of comprehensive substance abuse and child welfare service programs designed to match specific services to multiple client needs. A number of studies indicate that matching services to clients' diverse medical, psychological and social needs contributes positively to client retention in treatment, satisfaction and outcome. However, studies also indicate service programs -- even those describing themselves as comprehensive -- do not successfully close the "need-service gap", that is, do not adequately address client-identified needs. Moreover, some studies indicate that efforts to match comprehensive health and social services to client needs do not improve outcomes, but rather diminish the overall effect of treatment by reducing and diverting limited resources from the target problem.

This symposium is designed to bring together studies from both child welfare and substance abuse services research to examine the extent to which programs are able to address client-identified needs and the impact this has on a range of client outcomes: substance use, family reunification and client satisfaction. Findings are based on three different data sets that use both experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Study findings converge to indicate there are significant limitations in the extent to which programs are able to meet client identified needs. However, successful matching of services to needs can have a positive effect on a range of service outcomes. In sum, each symposium participant will address the following three questions:

1. To what extent, and in what particular service areas, are specific child welfare and substance abuse service programs addressing client-identified needs, i.e., closing the "need-service gap"?

2. What is the relation of need-service matching to key substance abuse and child welfare outcomes?

3. What are the primary considerations for implementing programs seeking to provide services tailored to client-identified needs?

See more of Symposium

See more of Research That Matters (January 17 - 20, 2008)