5288 El Cajon Blvd. #3, San Diego CA 92115 servessandiego@gmail.com 619.627.1315

Helping Fathers from Prison

BUF (Building Up Fathers) Program Plan


Fathers who have substance abuse histories and have recently been released from jail after serving time for a drug related felony or misdemeanor charge qualify for case management services from BUF (Building Up fathers). Proposition 47 issued the release of nonviolent criminals with drug offenses, providing many men an opportunity for reintegration into society. Assistance from case management services through the Risk Need Responsivity Model (RNR) and Good Lives Model (GLM) will serve as a therapeutic framework for case managers as they provide wraparound services including: housing, employment, CWS and probation advocacy, education, referrals to treatment programs, and parental training and homework.


I: Need and Target Population

San Diego County, along with the state of California, is facing an increase in prevalence of released male parolees (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 2015). In November 2014, by voter majority, Proposition 47 was passed. This proposition increased the number of released offenders by dropping penalties, such as the amount of jail time, to nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes (California Legislative Analyst’s Office 2014). In San Diego County, according to December 2013 Parole Census Data, San Diego County has the third highest number of male parolees. In San Diego County, currently 9.1 percent of parolees are those who have committed drug offenses. With the passage of Proposition 47, it is projected that California’s parole population will increase by a “couple thousand” over the next three years (California Legislative Analyst’s Office 2014). The greater impact of this change in law is the reintegration of male parolees into society, and specifically with their children.

From 1991 to 2007, the number of minor children with a parent incarcerated has increased (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010). Nearly 53 percent of the prison population has a minor child (Justice Strategies, 2011). Nearly 93 percent of parolees are men in San Diego County (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 2014). After release, male parolees are in vital need of resources for themselves and their families. Male parolees may be in need of a variety of resources, including access to food, shelter, transportation, counseling, drug rehabilitation services, and family services. Without any assistance or knowledge to find such resources, and as time goes by, male parolees, and especially those have committed drug crimes, have a higher risk to reoffend as the first three years since jail have passed by (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 2013).

San Diego County has no reoffender case management programs that solely work with fathers. Research has shown the great importance fathers have in decreasing the number of behavior problems with their children in the future (Amato & Rivera 1999). In addition, it has been well documented the negative effects, behaviorally and traumatically, having a parent incarcerated has on a child (Murray & Farrington, 2008; Reaves, Looman, Franco, & Rojas, 2013). While existing programs like SASCA-San Diego, San Diego Reentry Program, and the Federal Probation Program-San Diego/Substance Abuse & Mental Health, work to address the general reoffender population in the county, they do not specialize their work with parolees who are fathers. Present gaps are also found in existing case management programs as they only briefly and inconsistently work, from 3 to 6 months, with the target population. It is essential for the San Diego County father parolee population to receive access to case management services for a defined amount of time in order to not reoffend and traumatically leave their families once more.

The program that is being created, Building Up Fathers (BUF), has been made to address these concerns of the target population. BUF will solely work in San Diego County with the target population of male parolees, ages 18 and older, who are also fathers. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2010), 52 percent of state prisoners and 63 percent for federal prisoners are also fathers. BUF’s target population will also make up of solely parolees who had been convicted of only felony or misdemeanor substance abuse crime. BUF will specifically work with fathers who still have paternal rights. Furthermore, BUF will not discriminate on its male clientele on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, or religious affiliation.

BUF will seriously account as a program the needs for cultural competency. Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics make up nearly 66 percent of the parolee population (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 2014). In order for BUF to meet these cultural needs, BUF will make it a priority to hire staff that have multicultural backgrounds and who are bilingual. BUF will also make sure it provides quality care by hiring graduates who have their Masters of Social Work. These considerations for cultural competency will ensure that the needs of our population, and by proxy, their families, are fully appreciated and tended to

  1. Program Mission, Vision, and Values
  2.   Mission statement for Building Up Fathers (BUF):

To stop the cycle of trauma of the child by advocating, educating, and rebuilding the capacity of self-worth in recently incarcerated fathers.

  1.    Vision statement for Building up Fathers (BUF):

Strengthening families and communities by giving fathers connections, opportunities, and resources for success.

  1.    Organizational Values:

We believe that clients will be afforded the highest quality service at all times.

We believe that all clients and staff will always have their dignity upheld, as well as be treated with respected and empathy.

We believe that all staff will act ethically according to the standards set out by the agency and as professionals in a helping profession.

We believe it is our agency’s responsibility to be accountable, systematic, and transparent to all funding resources that made donations based on their good will and integrity.

III. Program Description using the Evidence-Based Practice


The BUF program will utilize two evidence-based models, the Risk-Need Responsivity Model (RNR) and the Good Lives Model (GLM). They will be combined to create a comprehensive approach as they are the two most validated models for prisoner reentry.

RNR is a psychometric model, with (a) strong internal and external validity based on assessment of individual (risk) traits and (b) factor offender’s development and environmental risk factors.  RNR is based on three guiding principles when applying interventions. Principle (1) “Risk”: match program frequency with individual risk; the greater the risk the greater the frequency.  Principle (2) “Need”: focus on criminogenic factors (child development) which correlate to criminal behavior.  Principle (3) “Responsivity”: link psychometric needs to intervention based on individuals learning style and cognitive development. The RNR models predictive validity of dynamic risk factors and relativity to static indicators of recidivism risk has been analyzed in a population of 24,972, which is based on two samples. (Michael 2013).  The analysis relied on multivariate logistic regression to test the predictive and incremental validity. These overarching principles will guide the application of BUF.

            BUF will screen for high-need fathers using the Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE), and the Parental Strengths and Needs Inventory (PSNI)

During the intake, the dynamic needs of the clients will be addressed in the GLM model to increase predictive validity of recidivism (Austin, 2006 and Hannah-Moffat, 2013).  BUF case managers will employ the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) questionnaire in order to evaluate dynamic factors in risk assessment, which is intended to improve predictive validity by targeting the therapeutic interventions. The implementation of the ACE will improve construct, internal and external validity for treatment.

The ACE determines if the individual has experienced traumatic childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, witnessing domestic violence, or has grown up with substance abuse, or crime in the home (Anda 2010). A high ACE score is determinative of social, emotional, and cognitive impairments that lead to increased risk of unhealthy behaviors, risk of violence or re-victimization (Anda 2010).  The ACE is a validated predictive factor for household dysfunction.

Next, case managers will have the client fill out the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-S)(footnote DSM).  The PCL-S, will reference a particular traumatic event. (footnote). The results will guide BUF Case Managers intervention when identifying the neurobiological impacts the individual has experienced.  BUF case managers will then incorporate appropriate practice models, whether it be Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Solutions-Focused Brief Treatment, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Intake will also include completion of the goals sheet, the Hope Index, the Flourishing Scale, the Parental Strengths and Needs Inventory (PSNI). The goals sheet will be updated at the six month assessment, and will highlight individualized specific tasks that need to be completed by the client, with the assistance of their case manager. (The scales and indexes guide the curriculum for parent education, which is provided in the Appendix).

BUF’s action phases (I and II) are based on the treatment assessment scales and goals sheet, which guides interventions and targets. This is based on RNR’s “Central Eight risk/need factors”: history of antisocial behavior, antisocial personality pattern, antisocial cognition, antisocial associates, family/marital circumstances, school/work, leisure/recreation, and substance abuse. While GLM places emphasis on individual motivation alongside agency criminal behavior, RNR principles are based on professional discretion, which targets risk factors. BUF case managers will apply GLM principles alongside RNR principles to provide an evidence-based interventions.

BUF targets reentry of clients into the community, thus the case managers’ action phases (I and II) will emphasize their “human goods/ relationship” towards his child, and his ability to be a successful provider. The GLM goals of treatment are (1) to assist offenders to attain the basic goods and (2) to manage risk (Ward, 2010; Ward & Gannon, 2008). As a program, BUF will emphasize GLM’s “Positive Strength-Based Approach” which employs Motivational Interviewing, and positive psychology (Aspinwall and Staudinger, 2002; Peterson, 2006; Seligman, 2002; Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).  BUF will utilize GLM’s pro social fulfillment and the individual’s ability to engage in treatment based on their motivation (e.g., Yates, 2009)(Yates, 2003; Yates, Prescott and Ward, 2010).

Additionally, BUF case managers’ action phases (I and II) will have six areas of GLM emphasis: health (good diet and exercise), mastery (in work and play), autonomy (self-directedness), relatedness (intimate/sexual relationship, family friends, kinship, and community), inner peace (freedom from turmoil and stress, a sense of purpose and meaning in life), knowledge and creativity (satisfaction from knowing and creating things – job-or hobby-related knowledge, playing music, writing)(311). BUF will employ GLM in-between-sessions practice with homework requirements in order to enhance parental skills (Martin and Pear, 1992; Spiegler and Guevremont, 1998).

After six months of engagement with BUF Case Managers, clients will be reassessed by completing the Hope Index, Flourishing Scale, SPANE, PSNI, BUF program checklist, and the goals sheet. This will indicate progress and guide the client’s tasks for the remaining six months in the program. Following the six month assessment, clients and case managers will collaborate to complete tasks in Action Phase II.

Studies report that clients are more likely to comply and adhere to treatment, and are rated by therapists as more motivated when GLM treatment is followed (311). During termination, case managers will review clients’ progress, recomplete the BUF program checklist, PCL, Flourishing Scale, SPANE, and HOPE index. The case manager will use GLM to empower the client to continue to reach their goals once case management services are concluded.

The GLM analysis of social cognitive skills programme after 6 years, shows significant delays in re-offense compared to control groups (311). GLM shows a steady increase in improved social skills, empathy problem-solving, and a significantly better coping skills post-treatment. GLM will therefore serve as a guidepost for BUF (311). BUF will attempt to locate clients six months after services are terminated to redo a BUF program checklist.

  1.  Staff Positions

Case Manager: There will be 5 case managers FTE (MSW) that have a maximum of thirty clients. Case managers are required to meet with clients four times in the first month, two times for months two through four, and one time for months five through twelve. The case managers will complete scales and assessments with their clients. In addition, case managers will work with clients to complete individual target goals.  In their work, case managers will utilize RNR and GLM strategies with clients for substance abuse relapse prevention and engagement in their children’s lives. Case managers will utilize their own vehicles for transportation and will be reimbursed for mileage.

Supervisor/Program Manager: There will be one supervisor FTE for the case managers (LCSW). The program manager must have five years experience as an LCSW administrator. The program manager will provide supervision for the case managers weekly and oversee the annual budget, day-to-day operations, employee benefits, the building rent and lease, utilities and supplies, accounting, staff development and training, time sheets, mileage reimbursement, and salaries.

  1. Goal, Objectives, and Evaluation Measures
  2.    Overall Program Goal: This program seeks to assist recently incarcerated fathers in maintaining sobriety and positively engaging in their children’s lives.
  3.    Process objectives:
  4.     Number of clients to be served: 5 full time case managers with a maximum of 30 clients (each client is eligible for services for 1 year) totals to 150 clients receiving services each year.
  5.     Percentages of clients who will complete the program: Our program is voluntary, which suggests that clients may enroll and withdraw from services voluntarily.  However, case managers will screen clients prior to beginning services to explain the program and the necessary requirements in order to receive services. We predict that 15%, of clients will utilize services for the full duration of 12 months. An additional 40% will complete services successfully in less than 12 months.
  6.    Specific services in the Evidence Based Model that will be delivered to each client:

Specific services from the Good Lives Model will include take homework, from “Cheering for the Children” by Casey Gwinn and Gabriel Davis, “The Whole Brain Child” and “No Drama Discipline” by Daniel Segal and Tina Bryson. Case Managers will assist fathers in connecting with family and youth support partners. The case managers will be trained on the “The Alternatives to Violence Project” in orientation. All scales including: ACE, PCL, SPANE, HOPE index, PSNI, and the Flourishing scale are evidence based.

  1.    Measurable Objectives
  2. Upon completion of the program, the percentage of clients returning to prison will decrease by 30%.
  3. Upon completion of the program, the percentage of clients who have securing housing will increase by 87%.
  4. Upon completion of the program, the percentage of clients who have securing employment or education will increase by 90%.
  5. Upon completion of the program, 65% of clients will be attending all scheduled visitations with their child through child welfare services (CWS).
  6. Upon completion of the program, 50% of clients will demonstrate that they are actively engaged in their child’s life by attending at least 1 appointment or activity outside of visitation for their child each month (medical appointments, school activities, religious or sports event, etc.).
  7. Upon completion of the program, 33% of clients will have completed treatment (inpatient or outpatient) for substance abuse.
  8. Upon completion of the program, 85% of clients will have significantly increased levels of hope (from hope index).
  9. 17% of clients will remain substance free 6 months after completion of treatment.

Data will be gathered in the initial screening and intake, after the client has been enrolled in case management for six months, and upon completion of services at twelve months. Assessment data will include: the SPANE scale, the screening demographic form, the ACE scale, PCL, HOPE index, Flourishing scale, Parental Strengths and Needs inventory, PSNI, and the goals sheet. BUF’s program checklist will indicate whether the client has secured housing and employment or education, their level of Child Welfare Services (CWS) and probation involvement, their status in their treatment program, and their engagement in their child’s life. Authorization to Use or Dis forms to disclose Protected Health Information will allow Case Managers to communicate with Probation officers and CWS to receive data regarding substance testing results, and visitation attendance of clients.




2013 Outcome Evaluation Report. (2014, January 1). Retrieved February 23, 2015, from

http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_documents/Outcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf

Allard, P., and Greene J. (2010).  Justice Strategies: Children on the Outside: Voicing the

            Pain and Human Costs of Parental Incarceration

Amato, P. R., & Rivera, F. (1999). Paternal involvement and children’s behavior

problems. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61(2), 375-384.

Atkinson, J., Coder, J., Weishahn, D., Devoe, J., Stevenson, A., Vargas, F., & Bradshaw,

  1. (2014, May 1). Parole Census Data As of December 31, 2013. Retrieved February, 23, 2015, from http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Reports_Research/Offender_Information_Serv


California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (2015). CDCR Weekly Parole

            Population [Data File]. Retrieved from http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/

Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statute. (2014, January 1).

Retrieved February 23, 2015.

Federal Probation Program. [Brochure]. (2012). San Diego, CA: Mental Health


Glaze, L., & Maruschak, L. (2010, March 30). Parents in Prison and their Minor

Children. Retrieved February 23, 2015, from


Murray, J., & Farrington, D. (2008). The Effects of Parental Imprisonment on Children.

Crime and Justice, 37(1), 133-206.

Rojas B. Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adult Criminality: How Long Must We

Live before We Possess Our Own Lives? The Permanente Journal 2013;17(2):44-48.


San Diego Parolee Reentry Treatment Program. [Brochure]. (2012). San Diego, CA:

Mental Health Systems.

SASCA-San Diego. [Brochure]. (2012). San Diego, CA: Mental Health Systems.


Appendix 1. Logic Model



·  Characteristics: 18+ years, substance abuse misdemeanor or felony, and has paternal rights and visitations with children

· Needs: wrap-around services: CWS advocacy, housing, education, employment, transportation, etc.

·Problems: substance abuse history, lack of resources, at-risk for returning to jail

· Strengths: desire to care for children and readjust into society


·1 manager FTE (LCSW) & 5 case managers (MSW)  FTE

Physical Resources:

·Office, computers, desks, chairs, paper, ink, & fax machine

· Personal cars will be used and mileage will be reimbursed

Other resources:

· Collaboration with jails, substance abuse treatment centers, probation officers, CWS, etc.




·  Minimum of meeting with case manager 4 times the first month, 2 times for months 2-4, and 1 time a month for months 5-12


· Support and empowerment through home visits, treatment site visits, and goal planning

· Assists with wrap around services per client goal-plan

·Transportation for client to appointments if necessary during scheduled visits

Intervention Methods:

·Acceptance and unconditional positive regard from case manager

· Risk Need Responsivity Model and Good Lives Model


(Process Objectives)


· 150 clients will receive services in one year

Service Completions

· 35% of clients will utilize a full one year of services

·  An additional 10% of clients will successfully complete services in less than one year

· All clients engaged in services will reap benefits from access to resources from Case Manager

Measure Fidelity:

·  Application of RNR and GLM principles stated in section III.


(Outcome Objectives)

Intermediate changes:

· At service completion, clients will have secured housing, employment or education, attend visitations for their child, and have enrolled or completed a substance abuse treatment program (inpatient or outpatient)

Final Changes:

·At 6 month follow up, clients will have completed a drug and alcohol treatment program, maintain their sobriety, continue to have an active role in their child’s life, and remain stable in their housing and employment/ education.


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