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Tribal in-home services systems of care: Working with substance abusing families

Cross, T.L. – 2012

This presentation discusses how to address parental substance abuse issues in child welfare-involved Native families. Presents data on the scope of the problem of parental substance abuse, including prenatal exposure. Notes that over 8 million children are living with at least one substance-dependent parent. Discusses the correlation between parental substance use and child abuse and, particularly, neglect. Lists the consequences of parental substance use on children, including the dangers of meth labs and other illicit drug activity such as trafficking. Describes the connection between substance abuse and chronic neglect. List the responsibilities of tribal child welfare workers in identifying substance use disorders and facilitating treatment. Provides best practice advice and notes the importance of helping children understand that addiction is a disease and not their fault. Also notes the need to ensure child safety. Discusses the use of the tribal in-home services model when working with substance-involved families. Describes the SAFERR systems of care approach, which involves collaboration between child welfare, treatment, and the courts. List the key premises of this approach, including working with ICWA guidelines. Notes that assessment is a process, and outlines the roles of treatment, child welfare, and court services throughout the entire assessment process. Includes flowcharts illustrating pathways of communication between agencies. Also includes resources for further information.