Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are the leading preventable cause of developmental disabilities in the United States and likely throughout the world. FASDs can be prevented by avoiding alcohol use during pregnancy; however, efforts to prevent risky alcohol consumption in women of childbearing potential have not been universally successful. Objectives: Data suggest that successful interventions may require tailoring methods to meet the needs of specific populations and cultures. Key findings of interventions previously tested among American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) women who are or may become pregnant, data gaps, and promising ongoing interventions are reviewed. Link to Journal Article
The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Cultural adaptations of universal substance abuse prevention programs are emerging at a rapid pace, and nowhere is this proliferation more evident than among American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) communities. There is tremendous diversity in these culturally based programs. Some merely modify existing program language without revising content; others culturally interpret known key malleable constructs and add specific cultural content, and still others, usually grassroots programs, focus mostly on identified cultural protective factors. In this review we will attempt to address this diversity. We will review three categories of AIAN substance abuse prevention programs: (1) published empirical trials; (2) promising programs, published and unpublished, that are in the process of development and that have the potential for empirical trials; and (3) examples of innovative grassroots programs that originate at the local level and may have promise for further development. We chose to include some examples of these local, culturally based prevention programs because they are such vital elements of AIAN substance abuse prevention. Link to Journal Article
A new factsheet from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs describes drug courts, in which court-directed programs aim to reduce drug use relapse. The factsheet highlights an array of multidisciplinary services, including risk and needs assessment, judicial monitoring and supervision, and treatment and rehabilitation services. Drug courts are tailored to address the specific needs of different populations. For example, family drug courts apply the drug court model to child welfare cases in which substance abuse is identified as a contributing factor to child abuse or neglect. These programs emphasize treatment to aid in the reunification and stabilization of families. The factsheet goes on to describe available DOJ programs that provide financial grants and other assistance to help States build drug court capacity and increase participation among the targeted populations. Link to pdf Factsheet
Alcohol and other drug abuse are major problems for the children and families involved with public child welfare. Substance abuse compromises appropriate parenting practices and increases the risk of child maltreatment. It is estimated that one-half of children taken into foster care in Illinois are removed from families with serious drug problems. Because substance abuse delays reunification, children removed from such families tend to remain in care for significantly longer periods of time. Since 2000, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has been engaged in developing, implementing and modifying a coaching intervention to speed up parental recovery from substance abuse and in turn improve child and family outcomes. This report serves as the independent evaluation of efforts. Link to Report
June 2012, Research To Practice Brief, National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center:
It is well documented in the literature that children growing up in homes headed by a parent with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders are at an increased risk for a multitude of psychosocial complications. These children are commonly exposed to ongoing stressors that can have a cumulative impact on their behavior and development. In a three-year longitudinal study, researchers found that the risk of child behavior problems increased with the number of areas in which the mother reported difficulties. Unfortunately, in families with parental co-occurring disorders, multiple difficulties are commonplace. This brief suggests a number of services and supports for such families. Link to pdf Practice Brief
The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) produced a DVD to help States, Tribes, and communities strengthen linkages among child welfare, mental health, substance abuse treatment, and court systems. The DVD features the NCSACW’s 10-Element Framework: Elements of System Linkages and demonstrates strategies for increased multidisciplinary collaboration to better serve children, youth, and families across systems.
The 30-minute video begins with an introduction from H. Westley Clark, Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, who discusses the importance of cross-sector collaboration. The framework is demonstrated through programs in Miami, Dade County, FL, and Sacramento County, CA, both of which have experienced positive outcomes. The video features interviews with service recipients, program directors, child protection professionals, dependency court coordinators, and more .
Bringing Families Together: Models of Hope and Recovery is available for desktop or mobile download on the NCSACW website: