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WashingtonDC The Washington, D.C. IDTA project involved five systems working together to achieve systems integration and coordination for the benefit of children and families, including Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA), Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration (APRA), Department of Mental Health (DMH), Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) and the DC Superior Court (DCSC). These agencies worked collaboratively to ensure the identified target populations of youth and adults receive timely screening, assessment, referral and engagement in effective treatment services as needed to address their substance use and co-occurring mental disorders. Through joint accountability and shared outcomes, partners addressed the safety, permanency and well-being needs of the children and youth at risk of or in out-of-home placements, the recovery and well-being needs of parents/caregivers, and therefore the overall well-being of the family. 

The target population of the project included parents and caregivers with substantiated child abuse or neglect cases and children 0-5 years old in out-of-home care, youth ages 11 and older in out-of-home care, and youth ages 11 and older remaining at home and receiving in-home services.

The main goals of the DC IDTA are:

  • Goal 1: Screening and Assessment. Potential substance use and co-occurring mental disorders are identified in a consistent, uniform and timely manner
  • Goal 2: Engagement and Retention. Youth and parents/caregivers in the target populations are engaged and retained and services are provided to address their substance use and co-occurring disorders.
  • Goal 3: Data and Information Sharing. Partners use interagency communication protocols to share information client and systems level information.
  • Goal 4: Joint Accountability and Shared Outcomes. Partners have developed a collaborative practice approach to serving children, youth and families that intersect each of their systems.
  • Goal 5: Services for Children, Youth and Parents/Families. Partners have agreed upon evidence-based practices and programs that meet the needs of the target populations and have processes in place for monitoring use and effectiveness of these programs.

The key accomplishments of the project were:

  • CFSA trained all social workers and Healthy Horizons Assessment Center (HHAC) staff on Global Appraisal of Individual Needs Short Screener (GAIN-SS). HHAC implemented the screen with target population of all youth ages 11 and older who entered care or moved to a new foster home. There was a significant increase in the number of referrals for parents with a positive screen.
  • CFSA screens all youth ages 11 and older for substance use and co-occurring mental health concerns who entered care or moved to a new foster home.
  • CFSA and APRA coordinated appointments for clients, decreasing wait time for assessments from 14 days to 24 hours, with a dedicated assessor for CFSA clients. CFSA implemented a mobile assessor for youth with substance use concerns.
  • APRA facilitated training for CFSA supervisors in the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) protocol, Motivational Interviewing, and Stages of Change. CFSA launched SBIRT training for social workers.
  • CFSA and DYRS are teaming on dual-jacketed youth cases to share pertinent information across systems to establish the magnitude and extent of substance use among this population in order to develop effective intervention strategies.
  • Cross-System Collaboration on Substance Use Disorders - Indicator Exercise (PDF 183KB)

    All agencies established and agreed upon shared indicators through the Cross-System Collaboration on Substance Use Disorders – Indicator Exercise.  This product lists the shared indicators that were established and agreed upon by all agencies to measure client outcomes.

  • Memorandum of Agreement (PDF 243KB)

    A Memorandum of Agreement between CFSA and APRA was developed and implemented for data sharing. With client consent, agencies can share individual client assessment results and treatment progress. The protocol specifies how information will be shared and with whom for the purpose of case planning and reporting on client participation and progress. CFSA gained access to APRA’s DATA system, which allows for electronic referrals and sharing of consented information about assessment results and treatment progress.

  • Washington, DC Final Report (PDF 269KB)

    This final report highlights the goals and key accomplishments of the Washington, DC IDTA Project

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