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Treatment Partnerships
A dedicated treatment partnership is a formal agreement between a community human service agency and one or more substance abuse or mental health treatment providers that guarantees services for families. The agreement often takes the form of a Memorandum of Agreement or a contract. This strategy assures immediate and appropriate treatment for those who, on the basis of a family assessment, are found to need such services. The partners also may enter into agreements aimed at addressing problems or gaps such as a lack of appropriate or sufficient services.

The community agency makes referrals to the treatment programs. In turn, treatment counselors from those programs provide training to community agency staff, helping them to recognize potential substance abuse or domestic violence problems among the families with which they work. This training may take the form of informal discussions and/or educational sessions.

In dedicated treatment partnerships, compensation for treatment providers may take various forms, including private insurance, Medicaid, or partial support from a referring agency. The referring agency may make a guaranteed payment to treatment providers to keep a specific number of treatment "slots" available for the people the agency refers.

Dedicated treatment partnerships vary in detail and structure and may include such features as:

Designated treatment counselors who serve the community program's population Guaranteed immediate access to treatment following assessment Provision of specified treatment modalities Provision of treatment in nontraditional settings, such as the family home or a community center Pretreatment services to enhance readiness for treatment Aftercare services Referral and intake protocols designed to sustain the families' or individuals' links to the provider Feedback to the referring agency on treatment progress Collaborative decision making regarding treatment and other services being provided Standard Service Agreements between the treatment facility and referring agency, enabling the treatment provider to call on other helpers to provide follow-up support after families or individuals complete treatment


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Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.