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Screening and Assessment

When a family comes to the attention of child welfare services, determining the presence of a parental substance use and mental disorders, as well as related child and family effects, is the first step in ensuring the safety, permanency, and well-being of the family. Child welfare workers and healthcare professionals may implement evidence-based screening tools, which present a set of standard questions to determine parental substance use and need for a referral for further assessment. An assessment is a comprehensive process conducted by a treatment professional to determine a diagnosis and individual treatment needs. Child welfare, treatment, and healthcare professionals also play a role in screening and assessing infants for the effects of prenatal substance exposure, as well as children and adolescents for their own substance use, trauma, and mental disorders. Although there are a variety of tools for screening and assessing parents, children, and families and a range of substance use treatment and other services, it is only through collaboration and communication across the systems responsible for helping families that professionals will gain the information they need to make informed decisions and that families will be engaged into the appropriate treatment.

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    • Screening and Assessment for Family Engagement and Retention
      Screening and Assessment for Family Engagement and Retention

      National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, 2017

      This webinar provides information on screening and assessment for family engagement and retention as well as strategies and issues related to both the systems and practice level. This webinar also offers information about Connecticut’s Recovery Specialist Voluntary Program, a voluntary, intensive case management and recovery support program for parents whose substance use disorder was a contributing factor to their child’s removal from the home. Through use of recovery specialists, this program engages and maintains parents in appropriate substance use treatment services and provides linkages to increase recovery supports.

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Contact Us

The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare offers free technical assistance to a various of systems on making policy and practice changes to improve outcomes for families affected by substance use disorders and involvement with child welfare services. To learn more about technical assistance services or if you have a question please email NCSACW at ncsacw@cffutures.org or call toll-free at 1–866–493–2758.

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