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Screening and Assessment

Screening parents and children involved in the child welfare system for the effects of substance use disorders and other co-occurring risk factors is an essential part of determining risk and safety. Collaboration and communication across the systems responsible for serving families are necessary to provide the child welfare, substance use disorder treatment, and court systems with timely access to the screening and assessment results they need to make informed decisions. Screenings are brief, rapidly administered tools that determine whether a problem or condition exists and if there is a need for an assessment. An assessment is a comprehensive process conducted by a treatment professional to identify if the person meets diagnostic criteria and determine critical areas to be addressed in the client’s treatment plan.

The following resources relate to screening and assessment for substance use disorders among families involved with child welfare services.

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