Early Intervention Services at UNC Horizons 2014-2015

Project: Research project


UNC Horizons is an addiction treatment program for women who are pregnant and/or parenting young children. In addition to drug and/or alcohol addiction our clients struggle with a wide range of other challenges, including trauma histories, legal system involvement, limited education or work experience, and mental and physical health problems. In 2012-2013 Horizons provided treatment services to 182 women (new and continuing clients). Of the 126 new admissions during the year, 50 were pregnant at intake. 106 of the new clients had at least one child under 18 years, and over half had CPS/DSS involvement. At intake almost all clients are covered by Medicaid (67%) or are uninsured (33%, includes Medicaid pending). Other common experiences include coming from families with drug addiction problems (78%), having been arrested at least once (76%), having been incarcerated at least once (49%), and having experienced domestic violence (56%). The primary target population for this project is the women and children (birth to age 5 years) in the residential program. In 2012-2013, 52 women with 64 children were residential clients, and 50 of the 64 children were ages 5 years or younger. The children in the residential program are at extremely high risk for poor future outcomes due to a combination of poverty, early traumatic experiences, in utero drug exposure, lack of stable housing and daily routines, and disrupted attachments. The project involves:
1. Offering attachment-based child-parent psychotherapy (CPP) for a minimum of 40 mother/child dyads (birth to 5 years);
2. Providing group-based parenting education for clients with 2 evidence-based parenting curricula, Circle of Security and Nurturing Parenting Program, for at least 50 women;
3. Coordinating assessments and early intervention services for at least 40 children, and providing transition planning and referrals for children who need continued services after leaving Horizons
Evette Horton, PhD, a child therapist with extensive experience working with Horizons’ clients, will provide CPP services and lead the parenting groups. Dr. Horton, Deborah Morton and/or Caroline Sykes (the Director and Associate Director of our child care services respectively), will coordinate assessments and early intervention services for children in our program. The majority of children quality for and receive physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, attachment therapy and/or psychiatric services. These proposed activities address both PBIS H10, increasing the percentage of children 0-5 who receive early intervention services, and PBIS FS10 regarding parenting skills/confidence. Dr. Horton’s CPP sessions directly address both goals by providing this evidence-based early intervention to help mother/child dyads with disrupted attachments, and all of the coordination efforts help to ensure that children receive the full range of early intervention services they need. The project addresses FS10 through CPP sessions and partial support for Dr. Horton’s time to prepare and deliver the 2 evidence-based parenting curricula. Providing early intervention services and parenting education to families at Horizons helps one of the highest-risk groups of children in Orange County to reach their full developmental potential. The gains made by the children will significantly contribute to their eventual school readiness.
Effective start/end date7/1/146/30/15


  • Orange County Partnership for Young Children


Nonprofessional Education
Substance-Related Disorders
Language Therapy
Speech Therapy
Domestic Violence
Health Services Needs and Demand
Occupational Therapy
Child Care
Pregnant Women
Mental Health