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2018 State Roundtable Report: Drug and Alcohol Workgroup [Pennsylvania]

Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, Office of Children and Families in the Courts – 2018

This report discusses the establishment of the Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Workgroup and the workgroup’s activities and recommendations for 2018. It begins by sharing research findings on the importance of collaboration when working with the substance abusing child welfare population, the importance of treatment interventions including the whole family, and the need to recognize addiction as a disease in order to move forward with helping individuals and families affected by substance use disorders (SUDs). The progress made on recommendations proposed in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 is discussed, as well as the implementation of the Pennsylvania In Depth Technical Assistance (IDTA) process, the development of a substance abuse video, the development of multi-disciplinary training, and the development of a resource guide for judicial officers, attorneys, and child welfare staff. The development of a bench card to provide guidance to judges and hearing officers faced with parental substance abuse is also noted, as well as a joint meeting of the Drug and Alcohol Workgroup and the Trauma Workgroup, and other training. New recommendations are made for the Pennsylvania State Roundtable and include: explore how the legalization of marijuana may impact child welfare; develop a resource on supporting the child prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol; and explore the implications of co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues. The report closes with information on how addiction is a family disease, an assessment tool for determining if Nar-Anon is needed, and answers to frequently asked questions about Narateen.