AccesS, Screening and Engagement, Recovery Support, and Treatment (ASSERT)

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) has received funding from SAMHSA/CSAT to implement a comprehensive statewide strategic treatment and communications plan to improve treatment for adolescents and young adults (age 12-21) with substance use disorders with or without co-occurring mental health disorders. This project is known locally as ASSERT (AccesS, Screening and Engagement, Recovery Support, and Treatment). DCF is partnering with state agencies (DMHAS, CSSD), Beacon Health Options, UConn Health, treatment providers, training entities, and youth and family organizations to support this initiative. ASSERT’s overall goal is to is to improve access to evidence-based substance use screening and treatments (EBPs), and recovery supports to increase engagement and retention in high quality care at all levels of need.

ASSERT grant activities fall into the following major categories:

  • Workforce Development: Implementing strategies to expand the skills and competencies of the workforce, particularly in response to CT’s opioid crisis. ASSERT defines workforce broadly to include clinical, non-clinical, and family and youth participants from a variety of youth-serving sectors;
  • Finance: Using financial mapping to identify current finance practices, and developing pragmatic funding and payment strategies for sustaining and growing EBPs;
  • Quality Improvement: Reducing health disparities in access to services; expanding co-occurring treatments;
  • Improving Access: De-linking service access to systems involvement, increasing awareness of services, reducing stigma around substance use problems;
  • Early Identification: Increasing screening for youth in diverse settings, promoting early access to care;
  • Data-driven Decision-making: Enhancing existing data infrastructure to improve access to and use of administrative data, and increasing the quality of administrative data

The ASSERT grant (4) strategies:

  1. Comprehensive Evidence Base Practice (EBP)
    The ASSERT Treatment Model (ATM) is a new treatment for youth and young adults 16-21 years old with opioid use problems.
    ATM combines three services:

    • Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)
      • MDFT is an intensive, family-centered treatment for youth with substance use and co-co-occurring mental health problems.
    • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
      • MAT for opioid use problems is available within the ATM program for those youth who need and want it. (MAT is not required.)
    • Recovery Management Checkups and Support (RMCS)
      • RMCS starts after MDFT treatment ends and provides monitoring, re-connection to services and supports through linkages to community and peer programs; up to 12 months of support after treatment ends.
  1. Enhanced Training
    Trainings to expand the skills and competencies of the workforce, particularly in response to CT’s opioid crisis.

    • Substance Use Disorder/Addiction training
    • Family EBP workshop
    • Social Marketing & Media training
  1. Treatment Financial Mapping
    Collaborating with state agencies to identify current finance practices, and developing pragmatic funding and payment strategies for sustaining and growing EBPs.
  2. Youth and Young Adult Involvement
    Collaboration with TurningPointCT.org; a platform to improve access to treatment services and resources.

Contact

Please email any further questions to Marsha Murray

 

Towns covered by ASSERT

Agencies Contact for ASSERT