About National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare

The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) is an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services and jointly funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Children's Bureau's Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN).


To improve family recovery, safety and stability by advancing practices and collaboration among agencies, organizations and courts working with families affected by substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders and child abuse or neglect.


  • Develop a substance abuse- and trauma-informed system of care for families involved in the child welfare and court systems.
  • Children, parents and families are engaged in timely, appropriate and effective services that improve their well-being.
  • Staff across multiple systems develop competency to address family strengths and needs and implement best practices and cross-system collaboration.
  • Organizations’ policies and procedures support collaborative practice, information sharing and coordination, timeliness of services, program and cost efficiencies, joint accountability and shared outcomes.

What We Do

Infographic showing a family of five in the center with the caption “Families” surrounded by three drawings connected by curved lines and going clockwise from top to bottom as follows: a person putting an arm around another person with the caption “Substance Abuse Treatment Professionals,” a courthouse with the caption “Court Professionals,” and two children with the caption “Child Welfare Professionals.” Below the infographic is the NCSACW logo and the following text: National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare—Supporting systems in making practice and policy changes to improve outcomes for children and families affected by substance use disorders.

National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare Sponsors