Meet the In-Home Recovery Program Team

January 2020—Ocean County.

The Team: David, Liz, Anna, Jess, Christina, Deb, and Juliany.

Preferred Behavioral Health Group’s new In-Home Recovery Program (IHRP) is now fully staffed, trained, and accepting new families into the program. Families are referred through the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). In their own words this IHRP team is “ready, versatile, diverse, educated, funny, empathetic, patient, and inquisitive!”

Funded through a grant by The Nicholson Foundation, and supported by Rutgers University, Yale Child Study Center and the New Jersey Department of Children and Families , the program is the first of its kind in New Jersey. The mission is to provide the support needed for children to remain in their homes together while parents are receiving treatment for substance use disorders.

Based on a successful model from Yale University that has since expanded into 17 areas in Connecticut  and two areas in Pennsylvania , the intensive program in Ocean County will provide individual and family therapy, weekly social club groups, regular drug testing, child development support , introductions and connections to community resources, and more.

“We know that removing children from their homes and families can be traumatic and can leave lasting effects throughout life. This program seeks to keep families together by helping the affected parents navigate through their recovery, while increasing their awareness and understanding of their child’s development and promoting positive parent – child interaction for secure attachment.”

Liz Savino, IHRP Program Director

This pilot program is also a research study and will be assessed and evaluated throughout the term of the grant by a team of researchers through Rutgers University. 

The program is set up with 2 teams of 3 staff members. Each team has 2 licensed clinicians and one family support specialist. There is also a part-time psychiatrist who is available to assist with medication management. Each team will work with 12 families for a period of one year. The average length of treatment is 6 months. The counselors will provide substance use treatment and child/parent relationship counseling. The family support specialists will help the families gain access to resources in the community as well as support their substance use treatment and the development of the child/parent relationship. The families in the program will have access 24/7 for crises and emergencies and will have phone access to their team members daily.

The team members are all deeply committed to the program. They share a space and collaborate regularly. Each of the 2 teams have a name: “Team Wondrous” and “Team Curious”. The team names came as a result of a brainstorming session about the Yale treatment model.  Because the program is focused on the client, the team members will provide help and support based on the specific needs of the client – using language such as “I wonder how you…” and “I’m curious what you think about…”.

After spending months developing the program and getting the necessary training, the team members are anxious to begin making an impact. When asked to use one word to describe this new program, here are few words that they offered:  “Hope,” “Journey,” “Unique,” “Compassionate,” “Opportunity,” “Judgment-free,” “Vigilant,” and “Supportive.”

For more information on the In-Home Recovery Program, contact Liz Kvalo-Savino: or 732.785.1900, ext. 3160.