Project Connect is a new program in the District of Columbia that works in conjunction with the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) to keep children safe and strengthen families by helping parents achieve a substance-free lifestyle. Project Connect also accepts families who have been identified as having issues with chronic neglect.
The Project Connect model was developed in Providence, Rhode Island and has been implemented there for more than 25 years. This model provides a high level of support to families affected by substance abuse by helping parents to safely care for their children while they are on the road to recovery.
To be Eligible for Project Connect families must:
- Be legally involved with CFSA.
- Have children in an out-of-home placement or in the home with an established goal of reunification.
- Have a history of chronic neglect.
- Have an identified substance use problem.
- Reside in Washington, DC.
Families benefit from Project Connect in the following ways:
- Families are referred to Project Connect to work toward reunification with their children or overcome chronic neglect issues.
- Families are referred for and supported while going through substance abuse treatment.
- Families can also be assisted with community funds to help purchase clothing, household and other personal items for their children.
- Project Connect workers are family advocates who act as sources of emotional support for clients who otherwise have no other resources. This support is provided 24 hours a day and 7 days per week.
- Families also benefit from the following community referrals or support to address issues regarding:
- Mental Health
Other resources provided by Project Connect include:
- Parenting Education- Families are assigned to work with a dedicated Parent Educator to help meet the family’s specific needs.
- Nursing Services- Pregnant women and families with children 3 and under receive weekly visits from a pediatric nurse who monitors health, safety, and early childhood development.
- Educational and Clinical Groups- Project Connect convenes a monthly group for families designed to provide additional support for successful parenting, recovery, and coping.