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September 2005Vol. 6, No. 7Collaboration Between Child Welfare and Substance Abuse Treatment Systems: TA for States

Collaboration among child welfare, dependency court, and substance abuse treatment professionals can improve services for the many families involved with these systems. In an effort to promote such collaboration, the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) developed a program of in-depth technical assistance (IDTA) for States. A report on the first round of this IDTA is now available.

The first round of IDTA was provided to four States for 18 months, beginning in July 2003. Through the IDTA, the NCSACW sought to change knowledge, skills, and behavior among child welfare and substance abuse treatment professionals, so that these changes would impact policy and, ultimately, practice. The first-round report details three components crucial to the IDTA program:

  • A framework of collaborative linkages and policy tools
  • Interventions that support cross-system change
  • Products and resources (publications, information switchboard, and access to many other organizations)

As a result of the IDTA, each State experienced success in incorporating collaborative strategies into the policies and practices of its systems. States accomplished this in a variety of ways, including the development of interagency agreements or program protocols. The IDTA also helped the States to develop a statewide infrastructure to improve coordination among systems and to provide a forum for discussing the shared concerns of child welfare, substance abuse treatment, and the courts.

The report, In-Depth Technical Assistance: Round One Final Report, is available on the NCSACW website at (PDF 318 KB). NCSACW is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is jointly funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and by the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect within the Children's Bureau of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families.