Planning For Safe Care – FDC’s and Opioid Use Disorder


July 31, 2017 

The nation’s prescription drug and opioid crisis has led to an increase in opioid use disorders among pregnant and parenting women.  Best practices suggest the need for a collaborative response across systems to improve outcomes, reduce risks and adverse consequences for pregnant and parenting women and their infants, and help families remain together safely. 

In July 2016, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) was signed into law, including amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).  The CAPTA amendments focused on improving well-being and safety for infants affected by prenatal substance exposure and their families or caregivers by including both legal and illegal substances in the categories of infants to be identified, specifying requirements for notification to child protective services, stipulating the development of a plan of safe care that includes the treatment needs of the family/caregiver in the plan, and increasing the monitoring requirements. 

Family Treatment Courts (FTCs) are uniquely positioned to implement the changes to CAPTA because of their emphasis on collaborative practice and improving outcomes for families involved in the child welfare system who are affected by substance use disorders.  This Café Conversation highlights strategies and best practices for serving pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorders, expanding services within the family treatment court to serve the needs of mothers, families and their infants, and developing a family-centered Plan of Safe Care to improve the well-being and safety of infants with prenatal exposure and their families. 

Numerous learning opportunities and resources are provided to attendees to enhance learning.  There is a 30-minute introductory video, a video discussion between national experts, a Call to Action Guide, and a Team Discussion Guide so FTC practitioners discuss the content together. 


  • Jill Gresham, Senior Program Associate, Children and Family Futures
  • Honorable John Rowley, Sixth Judicial District (Tompkins County, NY)
  • Mishka Terplin, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine (Richmond, VA) 

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand best practices in serving parenting and pregnant women with opioid use disorders and their infants 

2. Identify strategies to expand the family treatment court collaborative approach to effectively work with parenting and pregnant women affected by opioid use disorders and their families 

3. Learn how collaborative teams can develop an approach to implement comprehensive and effective CAPTA Plans of Safe Care 

FDC Learning Academy Podcast Post Webinar Q/A with Jill Gresham

FDC Learning Academy Podcast Post Webinar Q/A with Dr. Mishka Terplan

    • A Collaborative Approach to the Treatment of Pregnant Women with Opioid Use DisordersThis guidance publication provides an overview of the extent of opioid use by pregnant women and the effects on the infant, evidence-based recommendations for treatment approaches from leading professional organizations, an in-depth case study, including ideas that can be adopted and adapted by other jurisdictions, and a guide for collaborative planning, including needs and gaps analysis tools for priority setting and action planning. The publication was developed through the NCSACW contract with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, Children’s Bureau.

      Click to view on the NSCACW Website (.pdf)

    • A Planning Guide – Steps to Support a Comprehensive Approach to Plans of Safe Care (2018)
Live Cafe Conversations

Learning Opportunities

Grantee TTA Projects


Through federally- and foundation-funded projects, Children and Family Futures and its small business subsidiary, Center for Children and Family Futures, produces publications, reports, Technical Assistance tools and web-based learning for the field. The following are featured resources from our work. For more resources or information related to a specific topic, please visit our resources page or click the “Request Assistance” button below or at the top of the page.

Request Assistance