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Child Welfare Training Toolkit

Overview

Understanding the Multiple Needs of Families Involved with the Child Welfare System

Understanding Substance Use Disorders, Treatment, and Recovery

Understanding Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders, Mental Health/Trauma, and Domestic Violence

Engagement and Intervention with Parents Affected by Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health/Trauma

Case Planning, Family Strengthening, and Planning for Safety for Families with a Substance Use Disorder

Understanding the Needs of Children of Parents with Substance Use or Co-Occurring Disorders

Collaborating to Serve Parents with Substance Use Disorders

Understanding Prenatal Substance Exposure and Child Welfare Implications

Considerations for Families in the Child Welfare System Affected by Methamphetamine

Considerations for Families in the Child Welfare System Affected by Opioids

Overview

Facilitator's Guide (PDF 3.3 MB)

Presentation (PDF 2.6 MB)

PowerPoint (PPT 10.0 MB)

Download Full Module (Zip 14.9 MB)

Overview

Facilitator's Guide (PDF 9.1 MB)

Presentation (PDF 3.1 MB)

PowerPoint (PPT 5.4 MB)

Download Full Module (Zip 16.8 MB)

Overview

Facilitator's Guide (PDF 4.7 KB)

Presentation (PDF 410 KMB)

PowerPoint (PPT 1.6 MB)

Download Full Module (Zip 6.2 MB)

Overview

Facilitator's Guide (PDF 6.5 MB)

Presentation (PDF 705 MB)

PowerPoint (PPT 5.4 MB)

Download Full Module (Zip 11.9 MB)

Overview

Facilitator's Guide (PDF 4.9 MB)

Presentation (PDF 716 KB)

PowerPoint (PPT 4.3 MB)

Download Full Module (Zip 9.5 MB)

Overview

Facilitator's Guide (PDF 5.4 MB)

Presentation (PDF 2.7 MB)

PowerPoint (PPT 6.6 MB)

Download Full Module (Zip 14.1 MB)

Overview

Facilitator's Guide (PDF 7.1 MB)

Presentation (PDF 2.5 MB)

PowerPoint (PPT 11.2 MB)

Download Full Module (Zip 20.2 MB)

Overview

Facilitator's Guide (PDF 8.2 MB)

Presentation (PDF 1.5 MB)

PowerPoint (PPT 8.9 MB)

Download Full Topic (Zip 18.1 MB)

Overview

Facilitator's Guide (PDF 5.3 MB)

Presentation (PDF 3.8 MB)

PowerPoint (PPT 8.0 MB)

Download Full Topic (Zip 16.4 MB)

Overview

Facilitator's Guide (PDF 8.2 MB)

Presentation (PDF 3.0 MB)

PowerPoint (PPT 19.9 MB)

Download Full Topic (Zip 30.3 MB)

The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) developed the Child Welfare Training Toolkit to educate child welfare workers about substance use and co-occurring disorders among families involved in the child welfare system. The training is intended to provide foundational knowledge to help child welfare workers:

  1. Understand substance use and co occurring disorders.
  2. Identify when substance use is a factor in a child welfare case.
  3. Learn strategies for engaging parents and families in services.
  4. Understand potential effects for the parent, children, and caregivers.
  5. Learn the importance of collaboration within a system of care. Through a deeper understanding of these topics, child welfare workers can apply knowledge gained to their casework and improve their own practice.

The Training Toolkit consists of 10 modules—7 core and 3 special topics training modules:

Module 1: Understanding the Multiple Needs of Families Involved with the Child Welfare System

Module 2: Understanding Substance Use Disorders, Treatment, and Recovery

Module 3: Understanding Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders, Mental Health/Trauma, and Domestic Violence

Module 4: Engagement and Intervention with Parents Affected by Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health/Trauma

Module 5: Case Planning, Family Strengthening, and Planning for Safety for Families with a Substance Use Disorder

Module 6: Understanding the Needs of Children of Parents with Substance Use or Co- Occurring Disorders

Module 7: Collaborating to Serve Parents with Substance Use Disorders

Special Topic: Considerations for Families in the Child Welfare System Affected by Methamphetamine

Special Topic: Considerations for Families in the Child Welfare System Affected by Opioids

Special Topic: Understanding Prenatal Substance Exposure and Child Welfare Implications

The entire Training Toolkit can be delivered in a series, or each module can be delivered individually as a stand-alone training. Each module is approximately 2 hours in length and contains materials that can be adapted to meet the needs of child welfare trainers for in-person workshops or more formal training sessions. This flexibility allows the facilitator to determine the best format and timing for the training, according to the needs of the agency and staff. The special topics, in particular, lend themselves to brown-bag or lunchtime trainings.

Each module includes a Facilitator’s Guide with training goals and learning objectives, a PowerPoint presentation, resources, and references. The PowerPoint presentation contains talking points and key details in the notes section of the slides. These talking points are not intended to serve as a script to read aloud to attendees, but rather as key points to highlight while presenting. Facilitators are encouraged to infuse their own content knowledge, expertise, and real-world experience to bring the training to life. Discussion questions and experiential activities are integrated throughout the training sessions.

Intended Audience

The Training Toolkit contains information considered foundational for child welfare practice. The content is general enough for all child welfare workers, but it should be tailored to the audience’s experience and role in child welfare practice (such as investigations, in-home services, or ongoing case management) to enrich the learning opportunity.

Facilitator Qualifications

Facilitators should be knowledgeable about substance use disorders, mental health, and child welfare systems. They should be familiar with the laws and policies that affect child welfare agency decision-making to ensure that the information is presented in the proper context. If the facilitator does not have specific knowledge in substance use disorders or mental health, he or she should partner with local substance use and mental health treatment agencies for support.

Terminology

Field-specific terms are used during the course of this training. To understand the purpose and intended meanings of these terms, please review the Glossary. This glossary is also a useful resource for training participants.

Resources

A list of resources related to the content is included in each module. To review the resources from all modules, please download the master Resources.

Adaptation

The content of the toolkit is intended to be supplemented to include local context, policy and practice information to enrich the learning experience. NCSACW suggests the use of the following acknowledgment:

This resource was adapted by INSERT NAME from a technical assistance tool developed by the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW). NCSACW is a technical assistance resource center jointly funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Children’s Bureau (CB), Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Points of view or opinions expressed in this presentation are those of INSERT NAME and do not represent the official position or policies of SAMHSA or ACYF.

For examples of toolkit adaptation or technical assistance to plan and implement the training modules in your jurisdiction please contact the NCSACW.

Module 1 Description and Objectives

The goal of Training Module 1 is to provide child welfare professionals with information on a range of co-occurring needs that parents involved in the child welfare system may experience. This module discusses the needs of parents in the child welfare system who experience substance use disorders, mental health conditions, and trauma. Challenges related to bias and stigma are also presented. The module discusses the importance of a collaborative, family-centered approach to identify and respond to families.

After completing this training, child welfare workers will:

  • Identify the prevelance of substance use and mental health disorders and trauma in the child welfare population.
  • Recognize the effects of substance use, mental health, trauma, and co-occurring disorders on children and families.
  • Recognize the impact of bias and stigma from an agency perspective and a personal perspective.
  • Understand the importance of a family-centered approach when working with families with co-occurring challenges.
  • Identify the benefits of collaborating with other systems and service providers to better serve families.

Training Tips

  • Partner with a local expert on substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders to co-facilitate the training.
  • Use the *** bolded discussion questions integrated in the module talking points to enrich the training.
  • Highlight your own community’s data.
  • Supplement content with information about how child welfare workers can locate treatment for parents in the community.
  • Highlight child welfare programs with expertise in serving families affected by substance use disorders or programs that provide family-centered treatment.
  • Contact the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare for more information about using the Collaborative Values Inventory, a self-administered questionnaire that provides jurisdictions with an anonymous way of assessing the extent to which group members share ideas about the values that underlie their collaborative efforts, in your community.

Materials

  • Computer and projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Facilitator's Guide
  • Flip chart paper or white board (for use as a visual aid during discussion)

Module 2 Description and Objectives

The goal of Training Module 2 is to educate child welfare workers about substance use, treatment, and recovery. The module informs child welfare workers about substances and their effects, the brain chemistry of addiction, and the continuum of substance use disorders (mild, moderate, and severe), explaining the signs and symptoms and their effects on children and families. This module provides an understanding of the treatment and recovery processes, and specifically how substance use disorders can affect family relationships and the dynamics of the families involved in the child welfare system. The information and learning opportunities are designed to support family-centered child welfare practice with families from diverse cultural groups.

After completing this training, child welfare workers will:

  • Identify the types of substances and their effects, including methods of use.
  • Outline the continuum of substance use disorders as mild, moderate, or severe.
  • Understand the basic brain chemistry of substance use disorders.
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of substance misuse in the context of child welfare practice.
  • Discuss substance use disorders in a cultural context.
  • Identify treatment modalities and the continuum of care.
  • Understand the recovery process, relapse prevention, and long-term recovery maintenance.

Training Tips

  • Partner with a local expert on substance use disorders to co-facilitate the training.
  • Use the *** bolded discussion questions integrated in the module talking points to enrich the training and further engage participants.
  • Share specific screening tools for substance use disorders used or approved for use by the child welfare agency.
  • Supplement content with information about how child welfare workers can locate treatment for parents in the community.
  • Highlight local child welfare programs with expertise in serving families affected by substance use disorders or who provide family-centered treatment.
  • Contact the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare for more information about using the Collaborative Values Inventory, a self-administered questionnaire that provides jurisdictions with an anonymous way of assessing the extent to which group members share ideas about the values that underlie their collaborative efforts, in your community.

Materials

  • Computer and projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Facilitator's Guide
  • Flip chart paper or white board (for use as a visual aid during discussion)

Module 3 Description and Objectives

The goal of Training Module 3 is to provide in-depth information and learning opportunities to support child welfare workers in working with diverse families affected by mental health disorders, co-occurring disorders, trauma, and domestic violence. It presents signs and symptoms of co-occurring and mental health disorders and includes domestic violence terminology. The module also includes an overview of treatment modalities within a culturally competent, family-centered framework.

After completing this training, child welfare workers will:

  • Identify the spectrum and types of mental health disorders.
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of co-occurring and mental health disorders.
  • Explain the effect of trauma on co-occurring disorders.
  • Recognize domestic violence in the child welfare population.
  • Recognize the effects of co-occurring and mental health disorders on interpersonal relationships and parenting.
  • Engage with families to identify co-occurring and mental health disorders.
  • Understand treatment effectiveness and recovery from co-occurring disorders.

Training Tips

  • Use the *** bolded discussion questions integrated in the module talking points to enrich the training.
  • Partner with a local mental health and domestic violence service provider to co-facilitate the training.
  • Share or incorporate agency policy and procedures.
  • Provide a list of local resources.
  • Highlight child welfare programs with expertise in serving families affected by mental health disorders and domestic violence, or programs that provide family-centered treatment.
  • Contact the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare for more information about using the Collaborative Values Inventory in your community.

Materials

  • Computer and projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Facilitator's Guide
  • Flip chart paper or white board (for use as a visual aid during discussion)

Module 4 Description and Objectives

The goal of Training Module 4 is to provide strategies that child welfare workers can use to engage individuals in the change process when there are concerns regarding a substance use disorder, mental health disorder, or trauma history. This module describes skills that child welfare workers can use to engage individuals using a family-centered approach. Participants will learn how to engage families in the child welfare assessment and referral process. Participants will increase their knowledge on assessing parents’ needs to ensure a successful referral process for comprehensive assessment and treatment services.

After completing this training, child welfare workers will:

  • Practice building rapport.
  • Use motivational interviewing techniques.
  • Recognize readiness for change.
  • Explain the change process.
  • Identify engagement strategies for child welfare assessment and referral.
  • Increase knowledge on making referrals for comprehensive assessment and treatment services.

Training Tips

  • Partner with a local expert on substance use disorders to co-facilitate the training.
  • Use the *** bolded discussion questions integrated in the module talking points to enrich the training.
  • Highlight child welfare programs with expertise in serving families affected by substance use disorders or programs that provide family-centered treatment.
  • Contact the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare for more information about using the Collaborative Values Inventory in your community.

Materials

  • Computer and projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Facilitator's Guide
  • Flip chart paper or white board (for use as a visual aid during discussion)

Module 5 Description and Objectives

The goal of Training Module 5 is to provide child welfare workers with an understanding of the importance of responding to families affected by substance use disorders from a strengths-based perspective while providing ongoing safety assessment and monitoring a family’s progress over time. This module also highlights the importance of incorporating information about an individual or family’s substance use and treatment services into their case plan and ongoing safety planning. The module emphasizes that supporting families in identifying strengths throughout the process can create long-term successful outcomes for children and families.

After completing this training, child welfare workers will:

  • Recognize assessment as a process, not an event, and understand the importance of ongoing assessment and evaluation.
  • Identify the effect of parental substance use disorders on child safety.
  • Develop a case plan to meet the needs of families with a substance use disorder that integrates ongoing planning for safety.
  • Implement strategies for monitoring progress.
  • Identify and build on family strengths for successful outcomes.

Training Tips

  • Use the *** bolded discussion questions integrated in the module talking points to enrich the training.
  • Integrate the child welfare safety methodology used in your state, highlighting areas where substance use disorders are assessed.
  • Consider assessment of family functioning, strengths and needs, and the methodology used in the context of substance use disorders.
  • Supplement content with information about services available through the child welfare agency or community agencies to families for assessment and treatment of substance use disorders, including referral forms, agency release of information, or other necessary procedures to facilitate access to services and communication about progress.
  • Highlight information about available supportive services for families affected by substance use disorders, such as peer mentors, transportation, housing, or other supportive services.
  • Share or incorporate agency policy and procedures about visitation or parenting time and drug-testing protocols.

Materials

  • Computer and projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Facilitator's Guide
  • Flip chart paper or white board (for use as a visual aid during discussion)

Module 6 Description and Objectives

The goal of Training Module 6 is to provide child welfare workers with an understanding of ways in which children can be affected by their parents’ substance use and/or co-occurring disorders—from prenatal exposure to the postnatal environment. This module discusses the effects of parental substance use on family dynamics and the care of children. The module provides information on resources to meet the needs of both the parents and children.

After completing this training, child welfare workers will:

  • Identify the effects of parental substance use and co-occurring disorders on child development during the prenatal and postnatal period, childhood, and adolescence.
  • Recognize the effects of parental substance use or co-occurring disorders on family dynamics and the care of children.
  • Discuss the unique needs of children of parents with substance use or co-occurring disorders, including the child’s own substance use or co-occurring disorders.
  • Explain treatment strategies, systems of care, and support services available to children.

Training Tips

  • Partner with a local child serving agency to co-facilitate the training.
  • Use the *** bolded discussion questions integrated in the module talking points to enrich the training and further engage participants.
  • Share or incorporate agency policy and procedures.
  • Highlight child welfare programs in your jurisdiction that have expertise in serving families affected by substance use disorders or that provide family-centered treatment.
  • Contact the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare for more information about using the Collaborative Values Inventory, a self-administered questionnaire that provides jurisdictions with an anonymous way of assessing the extent to which group members share ideas about the values that underlie their collaborative efforts, in your community.

Materials

  • Computer and projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Facilitator's Guide
  • Flip chart paper or white board (for use as a visual aid during discussion)

Module 7 Description and Objectives

The goal of Training Module 7 is to provide child welfare workers with an understanding of the importance of collaborating with other service providers. The module provides an overview of confidentiality laws and the requirement for releases of information to work collaboratively with treatment providers to serve families. It is important when working with treatment providers to understand the types of information to gather and share. This module concludes with ways to build a collaborative team to support successful outcomes for children and families.

After completing this training, child welfare workers will:

  • Identify the importance of collaboration with other service providers.
  • Recognize key steps in building effective cross-systems collaboration.
  • Discuss 42 CFR, HIPAA, and releases of information.
  • Determine what information to gather from service providers.
  • Determine what information to share with service providers.
  • Demonstrate collaborative case planning.
  • Adhere to information and communication protocols.
  • Consider shared outcomes.

Training Tips

  • Partner with a local expert on substance use disorders to co-facilitate the training.
  • Use the *** bolded discussion questions integrated in the module talking points to enrich the training and further engage participants.
  • Share or incorporate agency policy, procedures, and forms around information sharing.
  • Provide participants with a list of local treatment providers.
  • Provide copies of releases of information.
  • Contact the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare for more information about using the Collaborative Values Inventory, a self-administered questionnaire that provides jurisdictions with an anonymous way of assessing the extent to which group members share ideas about the values that underlie their collaborative efforts, in your community.

Materials

  • Computer and projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Facilitator's Guide
  • Flip chart paper or white board (for use as a visual aid during discussion)

Special Topic Description and Objectives

The goal of this special topic training is to understand the unique needs of infants with prenatal substance exposure and their families. The training will cover the effects of prenatal substance use on an infant by providing an overview of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS), and withdrawal symptoms. Participants will gain knowledge in screening and treatment referrals for affected family members, including services to address the needs of infants who were prenatally exposed. Collaboration between the systems of care to serve infants and their families is critical for successful outcomes. The training will also highlight amendments made to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016, specifically related to infants with prenatal substance exposure and their families.

After completing this training, child welfare workers will:

  • Discuss the context and prevalence of prenatal substance use.
  • Identify the effects of prenatal substance use on infants and their families.
  • Discuss FASDs, NAS, and NOWS.
  • Increase knowledge of screening and referral for treatment and resources.
  • Identify the treatment needs of parents and infants.
  • Value collaboration between systems of care for successful outcomes.
  • Understand the implications of the CARA amendments to CAPTA related to infants with prenatal substance exposure and their families.

Training Tips

  • Partner with medical providers on screening and treatment for infants with prenatal substance exposure.
  • Use the *** bolded discussion questions integrated in the module talking points to enrich the training.
  • Share or incorporate agency policy and procedures on infants with prenatal substance exposure.
  • Integrate information on the plan of safe care used in your state.
  • Contact the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare for more information about using the Collaborative Values Inventory, a self-administered questionnaire that provides jurisdictions with an anonymous way of assessing the extent to which group members share ideas about the values that underlie their collaborative efforts, in your community.

Materials

  • Computer and projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Facilitator's Guide
  • Flip chart paper or white board (for use as a visual aid during discussion)

Special Topic Description and Objectives

The goal of this special topic training is to provide an overview of the effects of methamphetamine use on families. The training provides information on methamphetamine and signs of use. Participants will be able to assess how methamphetamine use may impact the safety and well-being of the family, and gain an understanding of the warning signs of methamphetamine manufacturing. Participants will learn referral and treatment options for family members.

After completing this training, child welfare workers will:

  • Discuss the context and prevalence of methamphetamine use.
  • Identify the effects of methamphetamine use.
  • Recognize signs of methamphetamine use with families in child welfare.
  • Recognize signs of methamphetamine manufacturing.
  • Understand the effects of parental methamphetamine use on risk and safety to children.
  • Identify evidence-based and practice-informed strategies to address methamphetamine use disorders, engagement strategies, and treatment resources.
  • Apply casework practice strategies in child welfare cases involving methamphetamine.

Training Tips

  • Partner with a local expert on substance use disorders to co-facilitate the training.
  • Use the *** bolded discussion questions integrated in the module talking points to enrich the training.
  • Share specific screening tools for substance use disorders used or vetted by the child welfare agency.
  • Supplement content with information about how child welfare workers can locate treatment for parents in the community.
  • Highlight local child welfare programs with expertise in serving families affected by substance use disorders or programs that provide family-centered treatment.
  • Include content related to Drug Endangered Children used in the community.
  • Include information about agency safety policies for staff.
  • Contact the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare for more information about using the Collaborative Values Inventory, a self-administered questionnaire that provides jurisdictions with an anonymous way of assessing the extent to which group members share ideas about the values that underlie their collaborative efforts, in your community.

Materials

  • Computer and projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Facilitator's Guide
  • Flip chart paper or white board (for use as a visual aid during discussion)

Special Topic Description and Objectives

The goal of this special topic training is to provide an overview of the effects of opioid use on families. This training offers information on the different opioids, their effects, and signs of use. An overview of overdose risk and prevention strategies is also included. Participants will learn referral and treatment options for parents affected by a substance use disorder. The training provides child welfare professionals with an understanding of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and the importance of a family-centered treatment approach.

After completing this training, child welfare workers will:

  • Discuss the context and prevalence of opioid use.
  • Identify the effects of opioid use on children and families.
  • Recognize the signs of opioid use in families involved with child welfare.
  • Understand overdose risk and prevention.
  • Understand the effects of parental opioid use on risk and safety of children.
  • Identify evidence-based and practice-informed engagement and treatment strategies, including medication-assisted treatment, to address opioid use disorders.
  • Discuss the principles of family-centered treatment and recovery.

Training Tips

  • Partner with a local expert on substance use disorders to co-facilitate the training.
  • Share any community initiatives on opioids.
  • Use the *** bolded discussion questions integrated in the module talking points to enrich the training.
  • Share specific screening tools for substance use disorders used or vetted by the child welfare agency.
  • Supplement content with information about how child welfare workers can locate treatment for parents in the community.
  • Highlight child welfare programs that have expertise in serving families affected by substance use disorders or that provide family-centered treatment.
  • Contact the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare for more information about using the Collaborative Values Inventory, a self-administered questionnaire that provides jurisdictions with an anonymous way of assessing the extent to which group members share ideas about the values that underlie their collaborative efforts, in your community.

Materials

  • Computer and projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Facilitator's Guide
  • Flip chart paper or white board (for use as a visual aid during discussion)

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