Mendocino County Family Dependency Drug Court



CFF's Evaluation of Mendocino County Family Dependency Drug Court (FDDC)




       Since 2007, CFF has provided comprehensive evaluation services to Mendocino County's FDDC. With Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) funding, the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Administration (HHSA) Divisions of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) and Alcohol and Other Drug Programs (AODP) partnered with the Mendocino County Superior Court to create a Family Dependency Drug Court (FDDC). The Mendocino County FDDC is also one of eight out of the initial 53 RPG sites to receive a two-year continuation.


       The evaluation assesses the impact of participation in FDDC on substance abuse treatment and child welfare outcomes. Specific adult performance measures include access to treatment, retention in treatment, substance use, supportive services assessed and initiated, employment status and criminal behaviors. Child performance measures include children who remain at home, occurrence of child maltreatment, average length of stay in foster care, re-entry to foster care, timeliness of reunification, timeliness of permanency and now child well-being.


       A historical comparison group of standard practice Dependency Drug Court cases was developed in 2007 for a quasi-experimental design. Data elements from existing substance abuse treatment and child welfare databases are linked and managed through a relational database. Unique identifiers link parents and children in the database, as well as to instrumentation such as the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) and the Parenting Stress Index (PSI).


       A comprehensive process evaluation, parent focus groups, Fidelity of Implementation (FOI), Institutionalization and Sustainability Assessment, Collaborative Values Inventory (CVI), Trauma Systems Readiness Tool and satisfaction surveys ensure that program strengths and weaknesses are continually assessed and findings are reported to the Strategic Planning Committee on an ongoing basis. CFF also supports FDDC through cost analyses, development of marketing documents and presentations to the Board of Supervisors and stakeholders, and ongoing sustainability planning.