Dakof and colleagues (2010) used an intent-to-treat design to examine the effectiveness of the Engaging Moms Program (EMP) in comparison to Intensive Case Management Services (ICMS). The EMP intervention was implemented in a dependency drug court (DDC) of the State of Florida 11th Circuit Judicial Juvenile Court in Miami, Fla. To be eligible to participate in the DDC, parents had to:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have at least one child adjudicated dependent
- Have a diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence
- Have a potential for family reunification
- Voluntarily enroll in drug court
All mothers accepted into the DDC were eligible to participate in the study. Study staff met with mothers who were referred upon enrollment in drug court. After a baseline assessment of the mothers, they were randomly assigned to either ICMS (n= 31) or EMP (n= 31).
Mothers who participated in the study were adjudicated in a single drug court with one judge presiding (not the founding family drug court judge), and received the same types of substance abuse treatment, parenting interventions, and other services as ordered by the judge. The only difference between the treatment and comparison group was the intervention administered by the drug court counselors: EMP (treatment group) versus ICMS (comparison group).
There were no significant differences between the two groups. Mothers who participated in EMP were on average 29.1 years old, and were 45 percent African American, 36 percent Hispanic, and 19 percent white. Mothers who participated in ICMS were on average 31.2 years old, and were 39 percent African American, 35 percent Hispanic, and 26 percent white. Both groups had low monthly incomes, high unemployment, and had an average of 2.5 children.
All mothers were assessed at 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 months following intake, regardless of the extent of their participation in drug court. The drug court was designed to last between 12 and 15 months; therefore, the 18-month follow-up is post–drug court participation. Analysis was conducted on the following outcomes: child welfare status; substance use, measured by urinalysis samples and Addiction Severity Index; family functioning, measured by the Addiction Severity Index; parenting practices, measured by Brief Child Abuse Potential I and Revised Conflict Tactics Scale; and maternal mental and physical health, measured by Brief Symptom Inventory and Addiction Severity Index. All data was collected during face-to-face interviews with participants at intake and the follow-up periods, except for information on child welfare status, which was gathered from court records.
Individual participants’ change was analyzed with the latent growth curve modeling method. Effect sizes were calculated using Feingold’s method for growth curve modeling. An intervention was considered to have an effect on study participants if the effect size of an outcome was d=0.5 or larger (considered a medium effect size).