The purpose of this report is to present preliminary findings of a study conducted in New Jersey comparing the rates of entry and retention in substance abuse treatment for two contrasting intervention approaches: Care Coordination and Intensive Case Management. In Care Coordination, welfare recipients were screened for substance abuse problems by caseworkers in welfare offices. Women screening positive were interviewed in welfare offices by specially trained addiction counselors to determine the need for substance abuse treatment and to coordinate treatment, if needed. The alternative approach, Intensive Case Management, combined several strategies thought to be effective in enhancing substance abuse treatment retention and improving outcomes. In Intensive Case Management, welfare recipients screening positive and needing treatment were assigned to a case management team. In addition, clients in ICM received small incentives in the form of vouchers for attending treatment. Preliminary findings clearly indicate the benefits of providing intensive case management services over a more limited triage and referral system. Clients referred to substance abuse treatment programs using the Intensive Case Management approach were much more likely to enter substance abuse treatment and were especially more likely to continue attending outpatient treatment sessions.
Intensive Case Management Improves Welfare Clients’ Rates of Entry and Retention in Substance Abuse Treatment