• October 2008
  • Vol. 9, No. 8

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Regional Partnership Grants Strive to Improve the Lives of Children and Families Affected by Methamphetamine and Other Substance Abuse

States and communities across the nation are struggling to address the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in families in which a parent's substance use has placed children at risk of abuse and neglect. The rise of methamphetamine use, in particular among women of child-bearing age, has increased the visibility of these issues and focused attention on the need to provide comprehensive, integrated family-centered treatment services to substance-affected families. On September 27, 2006, President Bush signed landmark legislation, the Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006 (Public Law (P.L.) 109-288). This legislation reauthorized the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program and provided 5-year funding to implement a targeted grant program to fund regional partnerships for the purpose of improving permanency outcomes for children affected by methamphetamine or other substance abuse.

On September 28, 2007, the Children's Bureau awarded multiyear funding to 53 grantees representing 28 States and 6 Tribes. The Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) program supports a variety of strategies designed to improve outcomes for children and families. These include:

  • Expansion of family treatment drug courts
  • Improvement of systemwide collaboration
  • Expanded access to comprehensive family-centered treatment
  • Children's services
  • Use of evidence-based practice approaches
  • Recovery management approaches

The outcomes of the grants will be monitored in a performance measurement system focused on documenting child safety, permanency, and well-being and family stability; systems improvement; and treatment-related outcomes, such as timeliness of treatment access and parent's recovery.

Across the country, RPGs have been engaged in the implementation of interagency collaborative efforts and integration of programs and services to address the needs of these families. The impressive range of organizations that serve as the lead agency of these partnerships reflects the collaborative nature of this program, and form the key to providing comprehensive services to families. Forty-five percent of all partnerships have a child welfare agency as the designated lead agency. Substance abuse agencies comprise 23 percent of lead agencies, and 13 percent are other child and family services providers.

Access the Children's Bureau website for a complete list of the 53 grants awarded:

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/programs_fund/discretionary/2007.htm

For additional information on this cluster of grants, please contact the Federal Project Officer, Elaine Stedt, at elaine.stedt@acf.hhs.gov.

Contributed by Elaine Stedt, the Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect

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