Success stories

CADRE supports networking among mental health agencies and AOD drug treatment agencies to address concerns.  

Collaboration Between Agencies:

North County Serenity House (NCSH) is an outpatient and inpatient alcohol/drug treatment agency, and the Center for Community Solutions (CCS) is a domestic violence program that provides shelter and case management services. Groups are offered at CCS for both perpetrators and victims of domestic violence (DV). CCS also offers court-ordered Anger Management Groups. Beginning in 2007, NCSH and CCS have exchanged referrals between them providing an ongoing benefit for clients with co-occurring mental illness, addiction and domestic violence issues. 

Before the California statewide movement to orient DV program staff to integrated treatment, routine practice was often as follows: If it was discovered that a woman in a DV shelter had a substance abuse issue, she and her children might not be admitted or might be asked to leave. Current practice: If, during an assessment, NCSH finds that a woman is in an abusive situation, staff from both programs work together to assure her safety. She may be admitted to a CCS shelter and then attend NCSH outpatient programs. Additionally, if a woman is at risk for partner/family violence upon NCSH program completion, the woman will be referred to CCS for possible shelter. 

This collaboration between the above agencies is a prime example of one of the goals of the Change Agents Developing Recovery Excellence (CADRE).


What is working and what is not working is regularly discussed in all CADRE meetings.

During a CADRE meeting, Mike Miller of Community Research Foundation's Mobile Adolescent Services Team (MAST) brought forth a concern. The MAST team was challenged by the length of the waiting list for admittance into McAlister Institute's 21-day adolescent substance abuse group homes.

McAlister has two boys' homes and one girl's home; each home has room for six clients. The wait list had been from 4-6 weeks for boys. On the other hand the girl's home was often not full, and there had been no wait list for it.

Susan Ritter, Clinical Supervisor at McAlister Institute, described how a new plan under the guidance of CEO Jeanne McAlister has called for house rotation among the adolescent homes. Behavioral Health Services has given approval for this plan to move forward. 

The plan is to rotate use of the house that was previously the girls' home. This rotation would allow it to be a boys' home at least every other month. The girls' waiting list would be allowed to build to six before the house switches back to being a girls' house for 21 days in the next rotation. This shortens the boys' waiting list and allows maximization of the adolescent resources for both the girls and boys.