The STARS Program
The Specialized Treatment Recovery Services (STARS) program is a support services program of Bridges Inc. STARS works with three specific client populations and is designed to provide Sacramento County with case monitoring for adults and juveniles dealing with substance abuse issues. The program provides parents involved with Child Protective Services and Sacramento County Dependency Courts with assistance in meeting the mandates given to them regarding drug and alcohol treatment, testing and support. The STARS program monitors clients for the Dependency Drug Court and the Early Intervention Family Drug Court.
- Family reunification rates have risen from less than 18% (before STARS and drug court started in 2001) to about 48% today.
- Children’s length of stay in foster care has significantly decreased.
- It cost the County $1,900 per month to provide out of home care per child.
- It is estimated that the STARS program and DDC save the County, at a minimum, $2,600,000 per year by reducing out of home care.
Dependency Drug Court
In 2001, Bridges joined a bold new venture with the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It was aimed at better serving the children of parents who had come into contact with the child welfare system because of drug use or addiction. The resulting Specialized Treatment and Recovery Services (STARS) program would sit at the center of the county’s family drug court, developed to help address Sacramento’s dismal reunification rates, fueled in part by parental drug use. The program would route treatment decisions and case management for those parents through a nonprofit staff. And that staff would mostly comprise former addicts. STARS remains at the center of Sacramento’s family drug court, which handles between 500 and 600 parents each year – hundreds more than most drug courts in the country. With STARS in the middle, the court has produced results, more than doubling the rate at which children in Sacramento’s foster care system are reunified with parents.
Early Intervention Family Drug Court
In June, 2007, Sacramento County Child Protective Services, Alcohol and Drug Services and Bridges were awarded a federal grant to increase the well being and improve permanency outcomes for children affected by parental substance abuse. This 5 year grant was utilized to fund the Early Intervention Family Drug Court (EIFDC), a program designed and based on the success of Sacramento County Dependency Drug Court.
This new voluntary drug court program began in February, 2008 and enhances the services provided to parents before the removal of the children is necessary. This program has become so successful in its efforts that when the grant period ended, it remained funded and became a systemized program offered in Sacramento County. This program is designed for mothers (and their partners) who have given birth to a baby born with drugs in his or her system or for parents with a child under the age of five that meet the criteria. STARS provides parents with the support, encouragement and accountability of a Recovery Specialist to help them access and complete alcohol and drug treatment.
For more information or to schedule an intake, please reach out to our friendly staff.