Research and evaluation are essential components of all Mothercraft programs. Since 1995, research and evaluation has influenced practice and program development at BTC and has yielded rich practise-based lessons that have been shared with others locally, nationally and internationally. Program evaluation continues to provide additional insights into the outcomes and underlying processes of the BTC approach.
Earlier evaluations of BTC (Moore et al. 1998; Pepler et al. 2002; Motz et al. 2006) reported on the effectiveness of BTC's comprehensive, integrated program model and of its pregnancy-outreach program. The evaluations reported on the following outcomes for BTC children and families:
- Enhanced birth and perinatal outcomes for infants of substance involved mothers engaged earlier in pregnancy;
- Enhanced developmental outcomes for substance-exposed children;
- Enhanced parenting confidence and competence;
- Enhanced treatment outcomes;
- Decreased rates of separation of mother and child.
BTC has recently published its fourth evaluation report, The Mother-Child Study: Evaluating Treatments for Substance-Using Women – A Focus on Relationships.
The Mother-Child Study, was conducted with the support of multi-year funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). This support allowed us to examine BTC's relational approach to substance use treatment in comparison with a treatment program for mothers with substance use problems that did not practice relational strategies. The study found that:
- Relationship-focused intervention for women with complex needs improve maternal mental health and relationship capacity, and decreases substance use;
- Relationship-focused intervention for infants/young children with complex needs improves child development and children's mental health.