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Resources for Child Welfare Professionals

  • National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) works to improve systems and practice for families with substance use disorders who are involved in the child welfare and family judicial systems by assisting local, State and tribal agencies. NCSACW resources and training  offerings are available online here.
  • Methamphetamine Addiction, Treatment, and Outcomes: Implications for Child Welfare Workers – In order to make sound decisions for the benefit of children and families, child welfare workers need accurate information about methamphetamine, its effects on parents and their children, and the effectiveness of treatment. This paper presents the most current research in these areas, and offers recommendations for child welfare workers to help them identify and assist children and families.
  • Understanding Substance Abuse and Facilitating Recovery: A Guide for Child Welfare Workers – This publication is intended for front line child welfare staff. This brief can help staff recognize when substance abuse is a risk factor in their cases; describes strategies to facilitate and support alcohol and drug treatment and recovery; and explains the benefits of partnering with substance abuse treatment and dependency court systems to improve outcomes for families.
  • Child Welfare Training Toolkit: Helping Child Welfare Workers Support Families with Substance Use, Mental, and Co-Occurring Disorders – This on-line training package is designed for child welfare trainers. This toolkit is composed of six modules, where each module includes a training plan, fully developed trainer scripts, PowerPoint slides and handouts.
  • Online Courses – These self-paced online tutorials focus on the subjects of substance abuse and child welfare; they support and facilitate collaboration between the child welfare system, the substance abuse treatment system, and the courts. There is no cost to enroll in the online tutorials, although registration is required. Continuing Education Units are available upon successful completion of a tutorial.
  • In 2006 the Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) Children's Bureau (CB) and Child Care Bureau (CCB), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) sponsored the conference: Methamphetamine: The Child Welfare Impact and Response. Many conference materials and resources are available on line.
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway Page on Methamphetamine and Child Welfare provides information on 1) Statistics and the scope of the problem, 2) Responding to and treating methamphetamine use 3) Additional information on methamphetamines and child welfare and 4) State and local examples.
  • Targeted Grants to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children Affected by Methamphetamine or Other Substance Abuse: First Annual Report to Congress Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010) Presents profiles of the 53 grantees and describes their program activities and accomplishments from October 2006 through July 2008. The report includes information on progress made in achieving the goals of the program, establishment of the performance indicators to assess the performance of the Regional Partnership Grants, and technical assistance activities carried out to support the grantees.
  • Protecting Children in Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders – This manual provides an overview of how child welfare and other related professionals can assist families affected by substance use disorders (SUDs), which also often may be referred to as "substance abuse." It is part of the Child Abuse and Neglect User Manual Series, which is published by the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The manual addresses the nature of SUDs; the impact of parental SUDs on children; in-home examination, screening, and assessment for SUDs; treatment of SUDs, and the role of child protective services.
  • Screening and Assessment for Family Engagement, Retention, and Recovery (SAFERR) provides guidance for using efficient screening and assessment tools and communication strategies that support sound and timely decisions about the safety of children and about the treatment and recovery of parents. It also includes methods for developing collaborative relationships between the systems to help improve outcomes for these families.

Download a PDF of key resources and products for child welfare professionals.

Resources for Collaboration