Children and Family Futures offers training and technical assistance to help systems implement recovery support specialists programs for families with substance use disorders and involvement with child welfare services. Our technical assistance on this topic incorporates reviewing the best program model and possible funding streams for the long-term sustainability of these positions.

Parents involved in the child welfare system with substance use disorders often struggle with feelings of ambivalence towards treatment. Successful engagement of parents into treatment involves more than providing them with the phone number of a local treatment facility. A systemic approach targeting early intervention and engagement will maximize parents’ motivation and yield more successful treatment outcomes for families and children. Research shows that recovery supports help address barriers of engagement and retention for parents with substance use disorders. The practice of co-locating recovery coaches and mentors in family courts (e.g., dependency courts) and child welfare offices can improve communication between child welfare professionals and substance use disorder treatment agencies, ensure seamless delivery of services, encourage recovery and lead to better treatment outcomes. 

requests for technical assistance on this topic since 2012
the length of stay in substance use disorder treatment for parents who receive a recovery coach and intensive case management than those who do not
average days to access treatment for parents who receive a recovery coach versus 108 days for those who do not


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.

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