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“Published reports and current evaluations have shown that Celebrating Families!™(CF!) is effective in improving parenting skills, family relationships, and family communication for parents whose substance use has resulted in involvement with child welfare and dependency drug courts. As a "front end" engagement intervention, CF! is the only intervention that can effectively provide a positive learning experience for parents who might not yet have engaged in treatment, and who have multiple barriers to recovery.” Dr. Ed Cohen, San Jose State University, Evaluator.


Celebrating Families!™ is listed on The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare and as a Best Practice for Dependency Drug Courts (Family Drug Courts):  “Results have demonstrated consistently superior outcomes when manualized, cognitive-behavioral family interventions were added to the Drug Court, including Strengthening Families and Celebrating Families!™ (Adult Drug Court Best Practices, Vol. II, National Assoc. for Drug Court Professionals, 2015). CF! was also listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs & Practices (NREPP) – now discontinued.


Evaluation outcomes from multiple sites show significant positive results, with very large effect sizes. Sites have found the curriculum effective with diverse cultural, racial and socio-economic groups. Independent evaluators have documented that the curriculum: 

  • Doubles the rate of reunification, while decreasing time to reunification for families in Dependency Drug Court (Quittan 2004 & Brooks, 2013, 2015).

  • Significantly increases positive growth for youth in knowledge and use of resources, coping skills, ability to stay out of trouble. (Family Treatment Drug Court Head Start Program  Annual Report 10.1.02- 9.30.03, Santa Clara County, The Center for Applied Local Research)

  • Reduced parental use of marijuana and prescription drugs with 96% reporting that during the last 30 days they had not used alcohol or other illegal drugs and 74% had not used tobacco (Family Treatment Drug Court Head Start Program).

  • Effective with diverse populations, especially with Hispanic families “indicating that CF! may be effective among different ethnic groups and a valuable resource for working in ethnically diverse communities.”  (Coleman, 2006).  

  • Significantly increases family cohesion, communication, strengths, resilience and organization with medium effect sizes from .15 - .70* (LutraGroup, 2007)

  • Significantly impacts positive parent involvement, supervision, efficacy, and positive parenting style   with effect sizes from .18 - .60.*(LutraGroup, 2007)


*“These are significant positive results with large effect sizes. To put these effect sizes into perspective, the best social skills training prevention programs is about .30.” (LutraGroup, 2007)

  • Significantly increases parental use of “effective positive discipline” (Sparks, Gardner, Tisch. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, March 2013).

  • Significantly impacts Protective Factors, reported by Group Leaders, including: 80% increase in number of meals eaten as a family; 80% increase in participants’ ability to connect with safe people; 70% increase in participants’ ability to identify and appropriately express feelings; 80% increase in participants’ service to others.  (Sparks, Gardner, Tisch. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse March 2013).


Karol Kumpfer, Ph.D., LutraGroup reported that, with families in early recovery, Celebrating Families!™  was significantly more effective than Strengthening Families. “These results suggest that CF! has more positive mean improvement results than the two comparison SFP groups for four of the five parenting outcomes.”(

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