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March 2017Vol. 18, No. 1Spotlight on Opioid/Substance Use Treatment and Services

We highlight the latest Child Maltreatment report as well as an article from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation that reports on the outcomes of the Personal Responsibility Education Program to address teen pregnancy.

Issue Spotlight

  • Surgeon General Releases Report on Substance Misuse

    Surgeon General Releases Report on Substance Misuse

    Alcohol and drug misuse is a serious and widespread issue in the United States that can lead to devastating consequences for individuals, families, and communities. In 2015, 66.7 million Americans reported binge drinking in the past month, and 27.1 million Americans reported current illicit drug use or misuse of prescription medications, costing the country $400 billion a year for crime management, health care, and lost productivity. For this reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Surgeon General issued a call to action with the report Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.

    Facing Addiction in America describes a comprehensive approach aimed at policymakers, health-care professionals, and the public for combatting substance misuse and its consequences in the United States. The report outlines five key components:

    • Increasing awareness and promoting education about the problems caused by substance misuse and demanding more effective policies and practices to address them
    • Implementing more effective, evidence-based prevention strategies
    • Improving access to treatment services and integrating them into mainstream health care
    • Implementing recovery support services to help those with substance use disorders maintain remission and prevent relapse
    • Supporting research-informed public policies and financing strategies to ensure that substance misuse services are accessible, compassionate, efficient, and sustainable

    The report also covers the neurobiology of substance use, misuse, and addiction; prevention models, programs, and policies; early intervention and treatment; pathways to recovery; how health-care systems deal with substance use disorders; and more.

    Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health is available at (27,570 KB).

March 2017Vol. 18, No. 1Current Topic

Opioid and substance misuse is a widespread concern that affects many youth, families, and communities. February's CBX highlights options for overcoming the devastating consequences of addiction.

Youth sitting in a circle holding hands


Issue Spotlight

  • Opioid Addiction Treatment Guide for Families

    Opioid Addiction Treatment Guide for Families

    According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is a prevalent chronic disease with no cure that affects people from all walks of life, their families, and their communities. Although opioid addiction has no cure, much like other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, there are safe treatment options available that can lead to a healthier way of life known as recovery. ASAM's pamphlet, Opioid Addiction Treatment: A Guide for Parents, Families and Friends, illustrates the path toward successful treatment.

    The pamphlet outlines approaches to treatment, beginning with assessment and diagnosis; a list of medications currently in use for treating addiction disorders, such as naltrexone and methadone; how to recognize and respond to opioid overdose, such as using Naloxone at the first signs of an overdose; and a list of questions to ask a clinician, such as "Are opioid treatment medications addictive?".

    Dos and don'ts for responding to an opioid overdose also are included.

    Opioid Addiction Treatment: A Guide for Parents, Families and Friends is available at

  • Webinar Series Focuses on Maternal Opioid Use Disorders

    Webinar Series Focuses on Maternal Opioid Use Disorders

    The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW), in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Children's Bureau, produced a number of webinars focusing on the issue of maternal opioid use disorders and pregnancy. Parts 1 and 2 of "Medication-Assisted Treatment and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome" highlight a new publication, A Collaborative Approach to the Treatment of Pregnant Women With Opioid Use Disorders: Practice and Policy Recommendations for Child Welfare, Collaborating Medical and Service Providers, which is intended to support and provide resources and tools for developing collaborative practice among the primary systems (i.e., States, Tribes, and communities) that come into contact with pregnant women with opioid use disorders and their infants and families.

    This new publication—which has a wide-ranging audience, including child welfare workers, substance use treatment providers, medication-assisted treatment providers, and neonatologists—reports on the findings of a national working group of 40 professionals from across various systems. The participants of the working group met on a regular basis over a 2-year period to determine promising and best practices for pregnant women with opioid use disorders and their infants and families. The document was also largely informed by the experiences of the six sites discussed in part two of the webinar, "Partnering to Treat Pregnant Women With Opioid Disorders: Lessons Learned From a Six Site Initiative."

    The six sites discussed in part two are Connecticut, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia. Part two begins with an overview of the Substance-Exposed Infants In-Depth Technical Assistance Initiative, the purpose of which is to strengthen the collaborative capacity of sites to improve the safety, health, and well-being of substance-exposed infants and the recovery of pregnant and parenting women and their families. The methods and findings of each State are then discussed in-depth.

    The webinar, "Opioid Use in Pregnancy: A Community's Approach: The Children and Recovering Mothers (CHARM) Collaborative," highlights the goals of the CHARM collaborative, which are to improve the health and safety of babies born to mothers with opioid use disorder. The four targets of this goal are to (1) encourage early prenatal care, (2) reduce cravings and withdrawal using medication-assisted treatment, (3) engage women in substance use counseling, and (4) provide social support and basic needs referrals for the family.

    The full webinars are available at

    Related Item  

    NCSACW and the Administration for Children and Families released the guide A Collaborative Approach to the Treatment of Pregnant Women With Opioid Use Disorders. The guide presents specific information on the treatment of pregnant women with opioid use disorders, approaches implemented by organizations across multiple disciplines, a framework to organize these approaches in communities, and a practice guide for community planning. Read more in November's Children's Bureau Express.

News From the Children's Bureau

We highlight a policy statement issued by the U.S. Department of Education that focuses on recent research on child homelessness and its detrimental effects on child outcomes; an article from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation that reports on the outcomes of the Personal Responsibility Education Program to address teen pregnancy; and a video from the National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption/Guardianship Support and Preservation on the challenges to achieving favorable outcomes and permanence for youth in foster care.

  • Funding Opportunity Announcement

    Funding Opportunity Announcement

    In February 2017, the Administration on Children, Youth and Families released a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA).

    Information about FOAs is available on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grants Forecast website at To find the Children's Bureau's FOA forecasts, go to the forecast website and enter the title or Funding Opportunity Number (FON) in the search box. Please check the forecast site regularly, as forecasts are subject to change.

  • Addressing Teen Pregnancy Using an Implementation Infrastructure

    Addressing Teen Pregnancy Using an Implementation Infrastructure

    The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) is one of the largest federally funded programs designed to address teen pregnancy. It provides $75 million a year to States that meet the following four requirements of their implementation infrastructure: programs must be evidenced based, provide information on abstinence and contraception, incorporate adulthood preparation subjects, and focus on high-risk populations. A report produced by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation focuses on the outcomes of four States funded by PREP: California, Maine, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

    Researchers conducted semistructured telephone interviews with each State's PREP support staff, State grantee administrative staff, training and technical assistance partners, evaluators, and program providers. Despite each State's unique characteristics with regard to funding, program plans, and size, researchers determined that the States took similar approaches to supporting and implementing their evidence-based programs with fidelity.

    Each of the four States included the following activities:

    • Contracting with at least one partner that had experience with training and technical assistance, as well as experience with teen pregnancy prevention and reproductive health programs. For example, California partnered with California Prevention Training Center.
    • Collaborating with their providers to align their content and delivery plans to the needs of targeted youth. For example, all States changed the language used in lessons and role-playing scripts to fit their populations.
    • Investing in developing, improving, and sustaining frontline facilitators' abilities to support the program by offering preservice as well as ongoing training. For example, the States used a train-the-trainer approach in which the program publisher trained the State grantee and partner organization staff who in turn trained the program facilitators.
    • Using data to monitor program delivery, quality, and training needs. For example, partner organizations conducted onsite provider visits during which staff observed and documented how facilitators provided the required lesson information, their comfort with the lesson content, and youth engagement.

    The implications of these similarities are that the PREP implementation infrastructure may be replicated on a larger scale and across other programs or policy areas using key lessons learned from these four States, such as collaborating with expert partners and assessing how well the evidence-based programs fit the target population.

    Supporting Statewide Implementation of Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs: Findings From Four PREP Grantees is available at (4,110 KB).

  • Child Maltreatment 2015 Report Released

    Child Maltreatment 2015 Report Released

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the 26th report in a series of annual reports designed to provide State-level data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Child Maltreatment 2015 includes information on reports of abuse and neglect made to child protective services (CPS) agencies, the children involved, types of maltreatment, CPS responses, child and caregiver risk factors, services, and perpetrators.

    Highlights of the 2015 report include the following:

    • During Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015, CPS agencies received an estimated 4 million referrals involving approximately 7.2 million children.
    • For FFY 2015, there were approximately 683,000 reported victims of child abuse and neglect in the United States. The victim rate was 9.2 victims per 1,000 children in the population, and children in their first year of life had the highest rate of victimization at 24.2 per 1,000 children of the same age in the national population.
    • Three-quarters (75.3 percent) of victims were neglected, 17.2 percent were physically abused, and 8.4 percent were sexually abused.
    • For FFY 2015, an estimated 1,670 children died of abuse or neglect, which is a rate of 2.25 per 100,000 children in the national population.

    The full report is available on the Children's Bureau website at

  • QIC-AG Project Videos: Child Welfare in the 21st Century

    QIC-AG Project Videos: Child Welfare in the 21st Century

    The National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (QIC-AG) released a new video that may be used in practice, classrooms, and administrative settings. The video highlights the challenges to achieving favorable outcomes and permanence for youth in foster care and improving child and family outcomes by implementing and evaluating interventions that promote permanence. In collaboration with eight partner sites, the QIC-AG is developing and evaluating evidence-based models of support and intervention to help achieve long-term and stable permanency.  

    Viewers can choose between a brief video that provides an overview of the project or the full-length video that includes details about the QIC-AG's eight partner sites and their interventions.

    The videos are available at

  • CB Website Updates

    CB Website Updates

    The Children's Bureau website hosts information on child welfare programs, funding, monitoring, training and technical assistance, laws, statistics, research, Federal reporting, and much more.

    The following are recent additions to the site:

    Visit the Children's Bureau website often to see what's new.


Child Welfare Research

Read about community cafés in Alaska that facilitated discussions on the Strengthening Families program and how to inform and improve the State's family support services, as well as a survey on the state of the child protection workforce in Minnesota.

  • Study Examines Stability of Minnesota Child Protection Workforce

    Study Examines Stability of Minnesota Child Protection Workforce

    High turnover and job stress in the field of child protection is detrimental to the effectiveness of these programs and creates a gap in meeting the needs of families and children. For this reason, the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, in collaboration with the Minnesota Association of County Social Service Administrators Children's Committee and the Minnesota Department of Human Services, conducted an electronic survey in February 2016 to better understand the state of the child protection workforce in Minnesota.

    The survey was sent to 1,948 frontline child welfare staff. Of these, 734 indicated they worked specifically in child protection, involuntary foster care, or adoption. The 734 respondents were predominantly female (87 percent) and Caucasian (93 percent) and were along the age spectrum of 20 to 25 to over 60 years old. The survey findings related to job satisfaction, the impact of secondary traumatic stress, and the adequacy of supervision and peer support.

    The following is a sample of the survey's findings among the child protection respondents:

    • Two-thirds (67 percent) reported they were satisfied with their jobs; however, 68 percent also reported feeling overwhelmed.
    • Four-fifths (83 percent) of respondents reported experiencing secondary traumatic stress, while only 63 percent reported that they felt supported enough to manage the stress. Thirty-seven percent reported that secondary traumatic stress had a negative impact on their job performance.
    • More than three-quarters (78 percent) reported receiving adequate supervision; however, most of this supervision centered on administrative monitoring and compliance rather than support or education.
    • A vast majority (95 percent) reported that they received support from their peers.

    Furthermore, 79 percent of child protection workers plan to stay in their current jobs, whereas 21 percent plan to seek other employment within the next year, which may be a conservative estimate. In the next 12 months, it is expected that one in four child protection professionals will seek other employment. The respondents reported that higher salaries, lower caseloads, and fewer administrative requirements would help keep them from leaving their positions.

    The Minnesota Child Welfare Workforce Stabilization Study 2016: Child Protection Summary Report is available at (286 KB).

  • Community Cafés in Alaska Discuss Strengthening Families Initiative

    Community Cafés in Alaska Discuss Strengthening Families Initiative

    Between January and June 2016, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) sponsored a series of community cafés in Anchorage, Hooper Bay, Kotzebue, Sitka, Sutton, and Wasilla. The cafés were attended by business leaders, educators, faith-community representatives, foster parents, grandparents, military personnel, parents, Tribal members, and youth, among others. One of the main goals of these gatherings was to facilitate a discussion about the Strengthening Families program and its five protective factors: parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete supports in times of need, and social and emotional competence of children. A new report from the Alaska DHSS presents the qualitative data collected at the cafés in order to inform and improve prevention and family support services in the State.

    The community café discussions were conducted in small groups or used audience-response technology, which is a live polling technology using remote "clickers." Audience response allows participants to vote on an issue or topic anonymously and see results instantly displayed on a monitor. It also enables café facilitators to collect community feedback, analyze results, and rank the specific priorities of each Strengthening Families protective factor.

    The findings and top priorities were similar across all community cafés and include the following:

    • Parental resilience—Participants emphasized the need for workplaces and employers to be more flexible, as well as the need to connect at-risk families with someone able to access services.
    • Social connections—Participants emphasized the need for more community gatherings and events that support the exchange of cultural traditions, language, stories, and skills.
    • Knowledge of parenting and child development—Participants emphasized the need for in-home coaching for new parents and support from elders and extended family.
    • Concrete supports in times of need—Participants emphasized the need for more local services, as well as a way to connect families with someone to help them access these services.
    • Social and emotional competence of children—Participants emphasized the need to help parents tend to their own emotional and personal needs, as well as help them provide a nurturing and loving environment for their children.

    In addition to a general summary, the report, Let's Talk About Safe Kids and Strong Families!, includes a section on each community that highlights the methods, participants, and findings particular to that area.

    The full report is available at (5,670 KB).

    For more information about Strengthening Families, visit the website for the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) at The CSSP website also offers information on community cafés, parent cafés, and world cafés at

Strategies and Tools for Practice

This section of CBX offers publications, articles, reports, toolkits, and other instruments that provide either evidence-based strategies or other concrete help to child welfare and related professionals.

  • New Workforce Development Toolkit

    New Workforce Development Toolkit

    The Workforce Development Planning & Assessment Tool Kit, produced by the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, is a companion resource to the Workforce Development Framework (WDF). The toolkit applies the principles of the WDF to an agency setting and offers a comprehensive approach to creating a workforce development roadmap by guiding agencies through the following three steps:

    • Introducing tools to systematically gather information about the agency’s current workforce strengths and gaps, as well as by assessing what influences the agency in its hiring practices
    • Providing examples of strategies that help to close the gap between the agency’s current workforce and the workforce needed to support its mission
    • Helping the agency put together an action plan

     The Workforce Development Planning & Assessment Tool Kit is available at

  • Enhancing Evidence-Building and Documentation Skills for Program Evaluation

    Enhancing Evidence-Building and Documentation Skills for Program Evaluation

    The National Latin@ Network, in collaboration with Latino community organizations La Paz, Trans Latina Coalition, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Voces Latinas, and Casa de Esperanza, launched a free, online, and bilingual resource called the Building Evidence Toolkit. This toolkit was designed to help those in Latino-serving organizations in the field of domestic violence strengthen their documentation and program evaluation skills.  

    The Building Evidence Toolkit is divided into four sections.

    • New to Building Evidence: Focuses on those who are new to program evaluation and provides tips on how to begin building evidence, different ways to evaluate a program, what tools to use when collecting data, and more
    • Enhancing Community Evidence: Highlights enhancing community evidence using principle-based evaluation and cultural-specific principles, as well as how to create an evaluation plan
    • Exploring Community Evidence: Focuses on the community-centered, evidence-based practice approach, which was designed to align the work of culturally specific, community-based work with community members
    • Learning Community: Includes additional resources and an "Ask the Expert" feature that allows users to submit questions about program evaluation to Latino community-based practitioners

    The toolkit also contains an introductory webinar hosted by Josie Serrata, Ph.D., assistant director of research, that explains the importance of documenting evidence in a culturally sensitive manner when evaluating programs, as well as a tour of the online toolkit.

    The Building Evidence Toolkit is available at


This CBX section provides a quick list of interesting resources, such as websites, videos, journals, funding or scholarship opportunities, or other materials that can be used in the field or with families.

  • An Introduction to Financial Capability for Youth

    An Introduction to Financial Capability for Youth

    The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth developed a brief for youth about to enter the workforce regarding the importance of managing money. The brief aims to help youth be financially capable through five actions:

    • Earning—Describes how to better understand a paycheck, including an explanation of various deductions, such as income tax and Social Security 
    • Saving and investing—Describes how to save using a bank account, how to choose a bank, and how much to save 
    • Protecting—Describes ways to protect money, such as purchasing insurance and health-care coverage; how to avoid scams and identity theft; and how to manage credit 
    • Spending—Describes ways to budget money, such as clipping coupons and comparing prices, especially for large purchases
    • Borrowing—Describes different types of loans and explains the annual percentage rate

    The brief also includes links to additional information from trustworthy sources, such as "Decoding Your Paycheck" from the U.S. Mint and "Paying Off Credit Cards" from

    Taking Charge of Your Money: An Introduction to Financial Capability is available at (857 KB).

  • Top 10 Tips for Engaging Youth

    Top 10 Tips for Engaging Youth

    The Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures produced a guide to help service providers and others engage with youth. Based on Achieve My Plan (AMP), which is an intervention focused on improving self-determination, treatment satisfaction, and community participation outcomes among emerging adults with serious mental health concerns, AMP's Top Ten Tips for Engaging With Young People includes tips on how to ask questions and maintain a conversation while completing a worksheet or curriculum with the youth by adding reflections, asking follow-up questions, and using good body language.

    AMP's Top Ten Tips for Engaging With Young People is available at (208 KB).

Training and Conferences

Find trainings, workshops, webinars, and other opportunities for professionals and families to learn about how to improve the lives of children and youth as well as a listing of upcoming events and conferences.