Mayor Giuliani To Quadruple Families Served in Innovative Substance Abuse Program for Welfare Recipients and Add Additional Site
Thursday, May 24, 2001
New York, NY — The City of New York has committed up to $9 million to enlarge CASAWORKS for Families, an innovative substance abuse prevention and treatment program for families on welfare created by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced today at a City Hall press conference with CASA Chairman and President Joseph A. Califano, Jr.
CASAWORKS for Families is the first national demonstration program to provide for women on welfare with substance abuse problems, in one concentrated course, drug and alcohol treatment; literacy, job, parenting and social skills training; family violence prevention and health care. This groundbreaking approach aims to enable these women to become self-sufficient, responsible parents and productive workers. CASAWORKS for Families operates at sites in 11 cities in nine states, including California, North Carolina and Tennessee. The program has been funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The City of New York, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CSAT), and The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Preliminary national results show that after 12 months the proportion of enrolled women abstinent from alcohol increased by 60 percent; those abstinent from cocaine, by 34 percent; and those abstinent from marijuana, by more than 20 percent. Their rates of employment have more than doubled. These results are included in the white paper CASA released at the press conference today, CASAWORKS for Families: A Promising Approach to Welfare Reform and Substance Abusing Women.
New York is the first national location to enlarge CASAWORKS for Families and open a second site. Participants in the New York City program at the Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDCO) in the Bronx showed an even more dramatic increase in sobriety than the national average. The proportion of New York women abstinent from alcohol increased by almost 80 percent; those abstinent from cocaine, by almost 50 percent; and those abstinent from marijuana, by 25 percent. The $9 million New York City committed to the program today will: quadruple the number of women served from 100 to 400, add an additional site in New York City, add comprehensive services for children as well as parents, extend the program for three years and include a continuing evaluation of the program's effectiveness. The program will now serve 400 women and their families, affecting some 1,600 New Yorkers.
"The CASAWORKS for Families Program can provide the services and support that families on welfare in the city with drug and alcohol problems need to become responsible parents and productive taxpaying workers and to enjoy the self-esteem that comes from being self-sufficient," Mayor Giuliani said.
"For each unemployed substance-abusing woman on welfare who becomes self-supporting and actively engaged in recovery, the annual benefit to society is about $48,000 per year," said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA President and former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. " Becoming sober and responsible adults and effective parents is of paramount importance to the children of these women. In the early phase of the program we learned the importance of providing comprehensive services to children as well as mothers, and we are delighted that the City has agreed to support this new component of CASAWORKS for Families."
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is the only national organization that brings together under one roof all the professional disciplines needed to study and combat all types of substance abuse as they affect all aspects of society. CASA's missions are to: inform Americans of the economic and social costs of substance abuse and its impact on their lives; assess what works in prevention, treatment and law enforcement; encourage every individual and institution to take responsibility to combat substance abuse and addiction; provide those on the front lines with tools they need to succeed; and remove the stigma of substance abuse and replace shame and despair with hope.
With a staff of 70 professionals, CASA has demonstration projects in 43 sites in 29 cities and 19 states focused on children, families and schools, and has been testing the effectiveness of drug and alcohol treatment, monitoring 15,000 individuals in more than 200 programs and five drug courts in 26 states.