The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) provides no-cost consultation, training, and technical assistance to child welfare agencies, substance use disorder treatment facilities, court professionals, and their community partners. Technical assistance supports agencies and professionals to develop or enhance policies, practices, and procedures that benefit families and improve their outcomes. NCSACW also researches, compiles, and shares information to address concerns of the field and examples of successful programs with other jurisdictions to expand best practices in communities across the country. Consultation and technical assistance are provided by phone, email, or web-based technologies to ensure availability and easy access to resource information, training materials, cross-systems tools and protocols, and hands-on support.
NCSACW’s In-Depth Technical Assistance (IDTA) program uses a phased approach to assess strengths and system challenges, implement practice and system changes, and enable improved information sharing to monitor family and system outcomes. This program of intensive technical assistance provides relationship-based coaching and support with collaborative teams who apply for assistance.
NCSACW also provides technical assistance to Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) Program grantees funded by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families’ Children’s Bureau to ensure the grantees’ success. RPG supports interagency collaborations and integration of programs, services, and activities designed to increase the well-being, improve the permanency, and enhance the safety of children who are in, or at risk of, out-of-home placement as the result of a parent or caregiver’s substance use disorder.
Current Technical Assistance Projects
Examples of Policy and Practice Changes
Policy and practice change that communities have made with the support of technical assistance include:
- Developing memoranda of understanding and statements of shared values that guide collaboration
- Generating screening and assessment protocols that enhance parent engagement and retention in services
- Developing comprehensive, collaborative partnerships that effectively respond to the needs of pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorders. These partnerships also provide assistance to infants and families affected by prenatal substance exposure
- Supporting the development and implementation of training initiatives to increase the workforce’s knowledge, competency, and skills regarding child welfare, substance use disorders, and evidence-based practices
- Creating data systems and information-sharing protocols that support cross-system case management
- Discovering creative ways to fund comprehensive, family-centered services