The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) has operated since 2002. Joint funding comes from the Children’s Bureau (CB), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
NCSACW offers on-site and virtual technical assistance (TA), develops and disseminates TA tools, creates educational materials and training curricula, and maintains an extensive web presence. NCSACW also provides a range of TA activities for agencies representing health and social service providers—including substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health treatment, child welfare services, family courts, public health, health care, maternal and child health, and early childhood.
NCSACW strives to support systems change, improve practice, and reduce stigma related to families affected by SUDs and mental health challenges through enhanced agency collaboration based on: 1) a shared understanding of the needs and challenges of these families, and 2) the systems serving them.
- Facilitating healing and recovery among children, youth, parents, and families affected by SUDs and mental health challenges who are either involved—or at risk of involvement—with the child welfare and family judicial systems
- Promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and youth who have experienced maltreatment, exposure to violence, or trauma associated with parental substance misuse and mental health challenges
- Advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities while improving access for special populations, including Tribes
NCSACW provides consultation, training, and TA to help agencies and professionals develop or enhance policies, practices, and procedures that benefit families and improve outcomes. NCSACW also researches, compiles, and shares examples of successful programs with other jurisdictions to expand best practices nationwide. NCSACW offers brief consultation and TA to provide information, resources, publications, guidance, and effective strategies.
NCSACW has specialized TA programs that provide capacity building and implementation support to strengthen partnerships, sustain innovations, measure performance, and improve outcomes. In-Depth Technical Assistance (IDTA) uses a phased approach to assess system strengths and challenges, implement practice and system changes, and improve information sharing to monitor family and system outcomes. This intensive TA provides relationship-based coaching and support for varying lengths of engagement with collaborative teams who apply for assistance.
NCSACW also provides programmatic TA to the Regional Partnership Grants (RPG), a program administered by the Children’s Bureau. TA focuses on cross-systems collaborative capacity; program sustainability; trauma-informed and culturally responsive evidence-based and evidence-informed services to children, parents, and family members; family-centered substance use and mental health disorder treatment and recovery support services; and lasting systems change.