Substance use disorders are widely recognized as a risk factor for child maltreatment and out-of-home care placement. Parent and caregiver attendance and retention in substance use disorder treatment programs is imperative for keeping children safely in their homes, or reuniting them with their families as soon as is safely possible. Collaboration among the child welfare and treatment services systems can improve child and family permanence and well-being. This page offers information on improving partnership between these two systems and highlights interventions focused on children and families involved with child welfare and also affected by substance use disorders.
The Behavioral Health and Wellness section has replaced both the Mental Health and the Substance Abuse sections on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website. Please update your bookmarks.
- Family-Centered substance use disorder treatment
- Pregnant and parenting women substance use disorder treatment
- Substance use disorder treatment for adults
- Substance use disorder treatment for youth
- Preventing substance use disorder relapse
AIA Change Agents: Primeros Pasos
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau, National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center (2013)
Discusses Primeros Pasos in Watsonville, CA, which provides services to substance abusing perinatal women, their children, and families. The program is 12 months long and consists of the matrix model intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment and Seeking Safety, a trauma-specific treatment.
CITC Final Report—Agency Without Walls Final Report
Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc. (2012)
Discusses the activities and outcomes of a federally funded project designed to strengthen child welfare outcomes by integrating the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) Child and Family Services, Recovery Services, and Employment and Training Services; and to create the same fluidity of boundaries between CITC and Anchorage's other service agencies that are ancillary to child protective services.
Fact Sheet for Substance Abuse Treatment Professionals
United States Children’s Bureau (2012)
Reviews the purpose and process of the federally mandated Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) conducted by the Children's Bureau. This fact sheet includes the steps of the CFSR, the role of substance abuse treatment professionals, and strategies States are using to address substance abuse issues.
Identifying the Substance Abuse Treatment Needs of Caregivers Involved With Child Welfare
Chuang, Wells, Bellettiere, & Cross (2013)
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Examined how agency use of standardized substance use assessments and child welfare investigative caseworker education, experience, and caseload affected caseworkers' identification of parental substance abuse treatment needs. Implications for agency practice are discussed.
Targeted Grants to Address Needs of Families Affected by Meth and Other Substance Abuse / Family and Child Treatment Services
Children's Research Triangle, 1
Highlights the activities and outcomes of a federally funded 5-year grant program designed to promote the permanency and stability of children and families affected by methamphetamine and other substances of abuse.