U.S Department of Health and Human Services U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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Includes collaborative practices and tools for linking substance abuse, child welfare, and family courts.

Collaborative Practice

The goal of the professionals who work with children and families affected by substance use disorders and involved in the child welfare system is to facilitate positive outcomes for these families. Ideally, the parent will receive effective treatment for the substance use disorder so that the child can remain with the parent, while the well-being of the child is fully supported throughout the parent’s recovery process. Achieving this outcome requires intensive collaboration by multiple agencies working with the family.

Collaboration among all three systems presents certain barriers that must be overcome. There is a shifting role for professionals as they develop and implement a new way of communicating with one another on policy issues. Differences in practice among stakeholders, from courtroom to courtroom, from agency to agency, and from provider to provider must be recognized and addressed.

The Collaborative Practice Model for Family, Safety and Recovery (PDF - 1.9MB)
The Collaborative Practice Model provides ten system linkage elements that child welfare agencies, substance abuse treatment providers, family courts and other agencies can use to collaborate with each other. This publication defines and provides examples of collaborative practice in each of the ten system linkage elements.

Online Learning

Collaborative Practice Tools

NCSACW helps child welfare agencies, substance abuse treatment providers and dependency courts to establish cross-system collaboration that sets the stage for positive outcomes. To carry out this work, NCSACW has developed a set of policy tools and instruments that support the framework. The tools and instruments provide benchmarks for improving system linkages and assessments to elicit discussions among agencies.

Here are links to the Collaborative Practice Tools:

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