In-Depth Technical Assistance
NCSACW's In-Depth Technical Assistance (IDTA) program advances the capacity of states, tribes, and their community partner agencies to improve the safety, health, permanency, well-being, and recovery outcomes for families affected by substance use disorders. This 18- to 24-month program strengthens cross-system collaboration and linkages among the child welfare and substance use disorder treatment systems and the courts, as well as maternal and infant health care providers, public health providers, early care and education systems, home visiting providers, and other key partners. Since the program’s inception in 2003, 26 unique sites have engaged in IDTA, including two county sites, four tribal sites, and 20 states.
In 2014, NCSACW focused the IDTA program on assisting states and tribes with addressing the needs of infants and families affected by prenatal substance exposure and the recovery of pregnant and parenting women and their families. IDTA also assists states in developing policies and protocols to align with the prenatal substance exposure provisions in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016, which amended sections of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
The IDTA model is based on the premise that sites are more likely to successfully implement meaningful and sustainable policy and practice change when they receive targeted training, technical assistance, and coaching in sufficient depth and duration, through strategic phases and with the support of a dedicated Change Liaison (CL). Establishing or augmenting a collaborative governance structure is the foundation for implementing policy and practice changes. Several key factors for success identified through this extensive engagement include:
- Partnering with agencies who are committed to implementing effective policy and practice changes.
- Engaging systems leaders who not only support the work of collaborative teams but also are willing to address barriers to strengthening collaboration.
- Measuring cross-system outcomes.
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As part IDTA, each selected site develops a Score of Work and corresponding work plan that defines the objectives and desired outcomes for the period on in-depth technical assistance. While each site's experience and outcomes are unique, the products developed tend to address similar needs, related to: