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Celebrating Families (CF!)


Delivery Approach:
  • Group
  • Dyadic
Delivery Format:
  • In Person
Provider Requirements:
  • Licensed/Certified Professional Led
  • DV/SA Advocate Led
  • Other Provider Requirements (see Program Details)
Type of Experience Addressed:
  • Domestic Violence
  • Child Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Family Separation
  • Substance Abusing Caregiver
  • Reunification
  • Verbal/Emotional Abuse
Engagement Methods:
  • Talk-Based
  • Experiential
  • Culturally Grounded
  • Other Engagement Methods (see Program Details)
Level of Intervention:
  • Intervention
  • Greater than 12 weeks
  • Correctional
  • Family Service Agencies
  • Mental Health Settings
  • Foster Care
  • Community-Based Agency
  • Health Services
  • Residential
  • School
  • Other Settings
Program Details:
Type of services provided:

Family-inclusive, trauma-informed, skill-building program that applies a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) model with families recovering from substance abuse that are at high risk for domestic violence and/or child abuse. CF! provides weekly instructional sessions devoted to a particular theme including communication, making healthy choices, feelings and defenses and anger management. Meetings start with a family meal. Parents and children then meet in separate group sessions. After group sessions, parents and children reunite for a 30-minute activity to practice what has been learned.

Program setting:

Community agency, residential and outpatient treatment services, school, drug courts, dependency courts, faith-based organizations, social service agencies

Length of program/number of sessions:

16 weeks

Type(s) of trauma/concerns addressed:

Families in which one or more parents are in early state of recovery from substance addiction and there is a high risk for domestic violence and/or child abuse.

Symptoms addressed:

Not specified

Education level of providers:

Program can be administered by paraprofessionals; a clinical supervisor for oversight and consultation is recommended.

Additional information:


Unique/Innovative Characteristics:

This program, originally designed for the Family Drug Treatment Court system and implemented in approximately twenty states, addresses the co-occurrence of parental substance abuse and family violence. The CF! intervention can be delivered by paraprofessionals.

Date Added/Updated:


Population Served

  • 0-5 (Early Childhood)
  • 6-12 (Childhood)
  • 13-17 (Adolescent)
Population Language:
  • English
  • Spanish
Ethnic Racial Group:
  • Black or African American
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Child
  • Child and Non-Abusive Parent/Caregiver
  • Family
  • Survivor Parent
Population Adaptations:
Age range of children served:

0 to 17 years olds

Are parent/adult caregiver(s) included in intervention?


Ethnic/racial and other groups served:

CF! has been implemented with Hispanic communities (see Evaluation)

Specific cultural adaptations:

Culturally adapted version in Spanish called Celebrando Familias!

Languages that service/resource is available:

English, Spanish


Goals of the program/services:
  • Break cycle of addiction in families by increasing protective factors and decreasing risk factors in participants’ lives
  • Build a healthy environment in families suffering from addiction and related abuse and violence so children can be safe and healthy by enhancing parent-child relationships and attachment
  • Facilitate successful family reunification
Evaluation Studies:
Has there been any evaluation?


Key evaluation results:

In an evaluation (one group, pretest/posttest study) conducted by the Lutra Group (2006), parents in early recovery from substance abuse were recruited from two community-based organizations and one residential treatment center to receive the CF! intervention. After the sixteen week CF! intervention, parents reported more positive parenting, greater involvement with children, better parenting skills, more effective parenting and increased supervision of their children. They also reported lower alcohol and drug use. Parents receiving CF! indicated that there was greater family cohesiveness, better communication, less family conflict, and more family strengths/resilience following the intervention. Parents in the CF! intervention group also reported less depression for themselves and their children.

For a master’s thesis, Quittan (2004) compared data of parents with a history of treatment in one of three programs : CF!, Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC) or the Traditional Child Welfare Case Plan (TCWCP) in a one group, pre-test/posttest study. These data were obtained from Santa Clara County’s Child Welfare System database. Records included 18-24 months of follow-up and were matched on several variables including age, ethnicity and the number of children in the child welfare system. Family reunification happened sooner for parents receiving CF! and FTDC. The CF! and FTDC intervention groups also had higher rates of reunification compared to families receiving TCWCP.

Sparks and colleagues (2013) compared the results of the two one group, prettest/posttest studies to determine if CF! was as effective with Hispanic as non-Hispanic families. Hispanic families receiving CF! showed as much or more improvement for outcome measures as non-Hispanic families.

Is there an evaluation currently in progress or planned?

None indicated at this time.

Publications about the program:

Lutra Group. 2006. Year One (FY ’05-06) Evaluation report for Celebrating Families! Grant summary. Retrieved from

Quittan GA. 2004. An evaluation of the impact of the Celebrating Families Program and Family Drug Treatment Court on parents receiving Family Reunification Services. Unpublished master’s thesis, San Jose State University, San Jose, California.

Sparks, SN, Tisch R, Gardner M. Family-centered interventions for substance abuse in Hispanic communities. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. 2013; 12(1):68-81.

Rated/Reviewed by Evidence Based Registries:

NREPP: SAMSHA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare

Training & Resources

Training Language
  • English
  • Spanish
Training Available:
Training Details:
Training manuals/protocols:

Curriculum available and many resources to support program implementation.

Training Contact:

Sis Wegner

Program Contact

Steve Hornberger
NACOA: National Association for Children of Alcoholics