The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) has been in operation since 2002 and is funded jointly by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF), Children’s Bureau. The NCSACW develops virtual and onsite educational materials and training curricula; maintains an extensive web presence; and provides a range of technical assistance activities for agencies representing health and social service providers including substance use disorder treatment, child welfare services, family courts, public health, healthcare, maternal and child health, and early childhood. Primary tenets of NCSACW are to support systems change, improve practice, and reduce stigma related to families affected by substance use disorders. This is accomplished through enhanced agency collaboration that is based on a shared understanding of the needs and challenges of these families and the systems that serve them.
The NCSACW provides consultation, training, and technical assistance to support agencies and professionals develop or enhance policies, practices, and procedures that benefit families and improve their outcomes. The NCSACW also researches, compiles, and shares examples of successful programs with other jurisdictions to expand best practices in communities across the country. Brief consultation and technical assistance support are provided by phone, email, or web-based technologies to provide information, resources, publications, guidance, and effective strategies.
The NCSACW’s In-Depth Technical Assistance uses a phased approach to assess strengths and system challenges, implement practice and system changes, and improve information sharing to monitor family and system outcomes. This program of intensive technical assistance provides relationship-based coaching and support for varying lengths of engagement with collaborative teams who apply for assistance. The NCSACW staff members also assist grant programs such as Regional Partnership Grants funded by ACYF’s Children’s Bureau or to SAMHSA grantees to ensure their success.