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Evaluation of the Fitkids Program for a Healthy Growing up of Children of Parents Suffering from Addiction (EvaFit II)

Scientific project leader

Prof. Dr. Lena Ansmann

Prof. Dr. Holger Pfaff

Operative project leader

Kira Hower

Student assistant

Pamela Saak

Cooperation partner

Information and aid in drug issues e. V. Wesel, Jörg Kons and Sandra Groß

Funding institution

Auridis GmbH

Project duration

07/2017 - 12/2018

Project description

Currently, about 50,000 children of drug-addicted parents are living in Germany. Repeatedly, the media reports tragic deaths and cases of neglect of infants and young children of drug addicts. To consider the situation of children of addicts, an opening and widening of the activities of drug-counseling centers is necessary. So far, only 10% of drug-counseling centers in Germany offer activities directed to children of drug-addicted parents or involve them in drug and addiction support. Accordingly, drug counseling is not prepared to care for children of addicts.

Implementing this topic into the existing structures and processes of drug and addiction support is a complex task. The Fitkids Program was developed by a drugs counseling center in Wesel with this in mind. Fitkids offers a supportive framework to continuously maintain dialog on the topic in drug counseling centers and to enable training, information and implementation processes.

The ultimate objective of Fitkids is to enable children with drug-dependent parents to grow up healthily and in an age-appropriate way. The program aims to achieve this by sustainably implementing children-oriented structures and processes in drug-counseling centers (click here to read more: http://www.fitkids-wesel.de/).

Following the results of a formative evaluation of the Fitkids Program, the implementation process was optimized, and the Institute of Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science (IMVR) of the University of Cologne was commissioned with a further evaluation (2015 - 2017). This “Evaluation study of the Fitkids program for children orientation in drug counseling centers” (EvaFit) was conducted as a summative evaluation to investigate the implementation of the program in 15 drug counseling centers and 10 drug counseling centers, which piloted the program 4-5 years ago, from the perspective of management and employees (http://www.imvr.de/index.php?page=fitkids).

Cross-sectional qualitative study with semi-structured individual interviews with parents and children

As the Fitkids Program is a complex intervention, further evaluation studies are needed (EvaFit II) to comprehensively evaluate the program. In this second stage of evaluation, the quality of program provided and its effects will be evaluated from the perspective of the target group concerned - parents suffering from drug addiction and their children.

The evaluation has the primary characteristics of a summative evaluation; i.e. a comparison between postulated and achieved goal attainment within the Fitkids Program.

The assessment tools used in the study will be developed based on the results of EvaFit, previous experience of the evaluating researchers and the current state of research. 30 semi-structured individual interviews with parents addicted to drugs or their children are planned.