In testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance earlier this year, Dr. Nancy K. Young, the Director of Children and Family Futures, paints a grim portrait of opiate use.

  • Over a seven-year period of time, heroin dependency has doubled and overdose rates have nearly tripled.
  • Over 10 million people report non-medical use of prescription painkillers.
  • About half of infants born with exposure to opioids (NAS) during the mother’s pregnancy will experience withdrawal.
  • Children placed in out-of-home care due to parental substance abuse is fast becoming the main reason for removal, with infants making up the largest share.

What can be done to help families affected by opiate use?  The federal government has funded two grant programs that include evaluation.  Regional Partnerships  have been funded since 2006 with a total of 82 grants (including extensions).  Here are the key outcomes:

  • With services, most children were able to remain safely at home.
  • 83% of children in out-of-home placement were reunified with their family.
  • Only 4% of children had substantiated mistreatment within 6 months of returning home.

One of the Regional Partnership programs uses a model of Intensive Family Preservation Services to help families of NAS infants, with the following outcomes:

  • Mean scores on family functioning as measured by the NCFAS assessment tools showed improvement in all 10 domains.
  • 91% of children have remained in their homes following services.
  • 91% of families have had no additional substantiated maltreatment.

The federal government has also funded meth grants which have been used to support 12 drug courts (about 350 drug courts nationwide serve 19,000 families annually).  Here are the outcomes from the 12 meth drug courts:

  • 90% of children were able to remain in their own home.
  • Keeping children safely at home saved over $34,000 per child in placement costs at one site.
  • 68% of children in out-of-home placement were reunified within 12 months.
  • Under 6% of children re-entered foster care.

To read the complete testimony, visit: http://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/23feb2016Young.pdf

The federal government has just issued a publication, “A Collaborative Approach to the Treatment of Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorders,” that provides guidance to child welfare professionals and service providers as they work to address this population’s unique needs.  The report recommends building a collaborative team with a comprehensive framework for intervention.

To view the report, visit: https://www.ncsacw.samhsa.gov/resources/opioid-use-disorders-and-medication-assisted-treatment/default.aspx

New federal legislation (H.R. 5456) would fund substance abuse prevention and treatment services to keep families together.  The Family First Prevention Services Act is supported by over 400 organizations, including NFPN, and was passed by the House of Representatives in June.  It is awaiting action in the Senate.

To view the legislation, visit: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/5456/text.

For a summary of the legislation, visit: http://waysandmeans.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Family-First-Prevention-Services-Act-Summary-061016.pdf.

Posted by Priscilla Martens, NFPN Executive Director

Father Involvement

The National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) would like to introduce you to some organizations and programs that are doing excellent work in the area of father involvement.

The Birth Parent National Network was initially funded by Casey Family Programs.  It is part of the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds.  The Network champions parents as leaders and strategic partners in prevention and child welfare systems reform.  Programs help fathers navigate the child welfare system, work cooperatively with mothers for the well-being of children, and provide input for child welfare case staffings.

For more information on the Birth Parent National Network visit: http://bpnn.ctfalliance.org/

The mission of the Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (NAFFA) is to strengthen families by responsibly involving fathers in the lives of their children, families and communities, and partnering with mothers to provide happy and safe families. The programs emphasize linking generations through relationships, addressing family violence/abuse, and teaching that fatherhood and motherhood are sacred.  NAFFA is one of the most effective organizations that you’ve likely never heard of:  the organization has served 185 tribes without ever receiving a federal grant.

For more information on the Native American Fatherhood and Families Association visit: http://nativeamericanfathers.org/

Over 9,000 fathers have participated in Project Fatherhood, this year celebrating 20 years of operation in Los Angeles.  Program components include support groups for men, job club, children’s groups, and significant others groups.  The programs address stress, separation and loss, child abuse and neglect, poor self-esteem, and generational issues to help fathers become better parents so that their children can grow up to become healthy adults.

For more information on Project Fatherhood visit: http://www.projectfatherhood.org/

Fathers for Change is an intervention program for fathers involved in substance abuse and domestic violence.  About half of domestic violence incidents also include substance abuse and child abuse.  Domestic violence in the home is the strongest risk factor for next generation violence.  However, two-thirds of mothers say that their child is attached to the perpetrator father and regularly see their father at six months following an incident.  There are few effective treatment programs for domestic violence.

The goals of Fathers for Change are:
1) Cessation of violence and aggression

2) Abstinence from substances

3) Improved co-parenting

4) Decreased negative parenting behaviors

5) Increased positive parenting behaviors

Fathers for Change is currently offered in Florida and Connecticut and initial studies have showed positive results in reduction of fathers’ anger and aggression. With additional studies, Fathers for Change is positioned to become an Evidence-Based Practice that includes a manual and training curricula.

For more information on Fathers for Change visit: http://mhlp.fmhi.usf.edu/newsEvents/mhlpnewsitem.cfm?item=316

To read NFPN’s report on Integrating and Sustaining Father Involvement visit: http://www.nfpn.org/father-involvement/sustaining-father-inv

For training curricula and resources on father involvement visit: http://www.nfpn.org/father-involvement/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48:basic-fatherhood-training-curriculum&catid=24&Itemid=124


Posted by Priscilla Martens, NFPN Executive Director


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