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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.
Strategic PlanMaineStateStrategic PlansAttachment
Texas Partnership for Family Recovery, Strategic Implementation PlanTexasStateStrategic PlansAttachment
Safe Families in Recovery Project 2004-2009 Strategic PlanVirginiaStateStrategic PlansContact Us
Strategic Plan and Executive SummaryVirginiaStateStrategic PlansAttachment

To access any of the resources without an attachment, please contact NCSACW.

  • Highlighted Resource

    • Collaboration Pathways for Infants and Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders: Lessons From New Jersey
      Collaboration Pathways for Infants and Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders: Lessons From New Jersey(PDF 496 KB)

      National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, 2019

      This case study highlights New Jersey’s progress and achievements related to their engagement with the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare In-Depth Technical Assistance (IDTA) Program. The report describes the context of New Jersey’s IDTA engagements, the accomplishments achieved, the barriers encountered, and guidance and lessons for practice and policy reform for states to consider to improve outcomes for infants and families affected by prenatal substance exposure.

      View Document


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