Project SAFE


Shelly Nolan, MS, LPC, Director of Women’s Services

(860) 262-6605,


The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) began collaboration in Project SAFE with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in October 1999.  DCF had initiated Project SAFE (Substance Abuse Family Evaluation) in 1995 as a way to connect its child protection system with the adult substance abuse treatment system. DCF contracted with Advanced Behavioral Health (ABH), a non-profit behavioral health management company, to coordinate central intake and priority access to drug screening, evaluation, and ambulatory treatment for substance using primary caregivers of children receiving protective services. With the addition of DMHAS in the project, the goal is to most effectively identify and address substance use issues and to coordinate and blend state, federal, and private resources to meet the needs of these populations.  The project has been enhanced by the development and implementation of clinical models that have attempted to achieve improved show rates for substance use evaluations and treatment; improved client engagement, retention and completion of recovery plan; child safety and improved family functioning.


The services delivered under the Project SAFE contract include:

  • Statewide priority access to drug screening, substance use evaluations and outpatient treatment services;
  • Statewide 1-800 line (1800-272-0097) to process referrals for services to participating providers, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year;
  • Coordinated service delivery, on a regional basis, in collaboration with the ABH Program Manager, DCF, DMHAS, and the Provider Network;
  • Centralized administrative services at ABH including: intake and referral, data collection, utilization and financial reporting and electronic claims processing; and
  • Quality management activities including: utilization analysis, chart reviews, provider and client surveys, education and training. 

Clients are eligible for Project SAFE services if they meet the following criteria:

  • Parents or Primary Caregiver (can be an individual under 18 years old);
  • DCF has completed a Substance Use Screen, and suspects that a substance use problem may be affecting the ability to parent effectively;
  • Referral made by DCF Social Worker for Project SAFE services. 


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Content Last Modified on 9/19/2018 3:38:37 PM