Project BRIGHT

Project Overview

Boston University School of Social Work will conduct a three-year evaluation of Project BRIGHT (Building Resilience through Intervention: Growing Healthier Together). Project BRIGHT is a new family-centered program designed to address traumatic stress in children (birth to five years old) and their parents who are in recovery from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the project will bring child-parent psychotherapy (CPP) to families at eight Family Residential Treatment (FRT) programs across Massachusetts. CPP is an intervention designed to offer therapeutic support to parents and their young children in order to mitigate the impact of traumatic experiences.

The evaluation team, led by Professor Ruth Paris, will assess Project BRIGHT’s efficacy in reducing trauma symptoms in children, building the parent-child relationship, and increasing parental competence. Project BRIGHT also aims to embed trauma-informed services into the FRT setting, with the goal of educating FRT staff to effectively support all of their clients’ parent-child relationships. To this end, the evaluation will examine the extent to which Project BRIGHT has been successful in teaching FRT staff members specific strategies to address children’s trauma histories.

Project BRIGHT marks the first time that CPP has been adapted for use with families in recovery. Data collected through this evaluation will add to a growing body of knowledge describing the impact of trauma on children, and may contribute to the future development of effective evidence-based practice models for therapeutic work with this population.

Project BRIGHT is a joint initiative, led by the Institute for Health and Recovery (IHR), in collaboration with Jewish Family and Children’s Service Center for Early Relationship Support, Boston Medical Center’s Child Witness to Violence Project, and the Boston University School of Social Work.

Project Staff

Ruth Paris, PhD, MSW – Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Social Work

Lena Lundgren, PhD, MA

Social Welfare Policy
Director, Center for Addictions Research and Services

Deborah Chassler, MSW

Senior Research Associate