Building Better Programs

CASAWORKS for Families

From 1997 to 2007, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, New York, planned and carried out a demonstration project to help women on welfare who have substance abuse problems reduce drug and alcohol use and secure and retain jobs. The demonstration project was called CASAWORKS for Families and was designed to achieve four goals: 1) Facilitate and maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol; 2) promote work and economic independence; 3) address safety from violence for women and children; and 4) improve family functioning. The model hinged on a close working relationship between substance abuse treatment centers and welfare agencies. The project took place in three phases. The first phase, which was a pilot in 11 cities, yielded some promising results. There were decreases in substance use and increases in employment outcomes for program participants.

CASAWORKS for Families Helps Women Get Off Drugs and Into Jobs: Multi-site demonstration of substance abuse treatment program for hard to employ women on welfare