Project BRIGHT III: Evaluating a trauma-based intervention for young children and their parents in recovery from substance use disorders


The Institute for Health and Recovery (IHR), in collaboration with Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW), and Stanley Street Treatment and Resources (SSTAR), offers Building Resilience through Intervention: Growing Healthier Together (BRIGHT) III, designed to address traumatic stress in children whose parents are in recovery from (SUDs) and co-occurring disorders (CODs). BRIGHT III’s purpose is to increase access to and improve the quality of trauma treatment services for children aged 0-6 and their families affected by SUDs in Fall River, MA, a community that has been hard hit by the state’s opioid epidemic. Using adapted versions of Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), the Nurturing Program for Families in Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery, and Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC), it aims to decrease children’s symptoms of traumatic responses and behavioral problems, increase their capacities for emotional regulation, improve parenting capacities and mental health/recovery, and enhance the quality of the parent-child relationship.

The evaluation of Project BRIGHT III will measure the extent the intervention reaches its objectives at the individual, program and systems levels. At the individual client level, the evaluation examines if project participation improved children’s trauma related symptoms and developmental progress and parents’ capacity for optimal parenting. At the program level, a process evaluation explores if the program reached its target population (e.g. numbers of children/families served), if proposed trauma-informed services were provided, the fidelity with which the evidence based practices were implemented, and if training and consultation were provided to staff at collaborating organizations. At the systems level, the evaluation examines if project participation improved the capacity of partnering child-serving and SUD treatment organizations to provide family-centered trauma-informed care.

Project Team

Ruth Paris, PhD, LICSW
Principal Investigator (PI) for BRIGHT III Evaluation
Boston University School of Social Work

Susan O’Donnell, LICSW
Project Director Project BRIGHT III
Institute for Health and Recovery

Norma Finkelstein, PhD, MSW
Principal Investigator (PI)
Institute for Health and Recovery


SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
NCTSN (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)

Related Projects

Visit the grants page to learn more about Ruth’s other work:

In the News:

BUSSW Professor Ruth Paris & Colleagues Tackle the Opioid Crisis’ Impact on Children and their Mothers  (July 2, 2018)

Paris to Unravel Best Ways to Treat Traumatic Stress in Children (November 6, 2009)

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