U.S Department of Health and Human Services U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Collaborative Practice and Tools

NCSACW helps child welfare agencies, substance abuse treatment providers, and dependency courts to establish cross-system collaboration that sets the stage for positive outcomes. To carry out this work, NCSACW has developed a set of policy tools that support the framework.

Framework and Policy Tools for Improving Linkages between Alcohol and Drug Services, Child Welfare Services and Dependency Courts (PDF - 578 KB) - Summary Document (PDF - 60 KB)
Explains a framework for assessing the components of collaborative efforts to address the substance abuse issues among families in the child welfare and dependency court systems. This ten-element framework is a tool for assessing collaboration across systems, specifically the identification of benchmarks for improving system linkages, which are fundamental to improving outcomes and long-term well-being for families in the child welfare system with substance use disorders.

Matrix of Progress (PDF - 123 KB)
The Matrix of Progress in Building Linkages Among Alcohol and Drug Agencies, Child Welfare Services, and the Dependency Court is a tool for assessing collaboration across systems. The Matrix of Progress identifies benchmarks for improving the system linkages by specifying the fundamentals of improved practice, good practice, and best practice for each of the ten elements in the framework.

Collaborative Values Inventory (PDF - 107 KB)
The Collaborative Values Inventory (CVI) is a questionnaire that serves as a neutral, anonymous way of assessing how much a group shares the values that underlie its work. The CVI is designed to identify issues that may not be raised if the collaborative begins its work together without clarifying the underlying values of its members.

Collaborative Capacity Instrument (PDF - 303 KB)
The Collaborative Capacity Instrument (CCI) is a self-assessment tool designed to elicit intra- and interagency discussion about progress in addressing specific issues and about prioritizing programs and policy plans.

Pathways to Collaboration. Factors that Help and Hinder Collaboration between Substance Abuse and Child Welfare Fields (PDF - 1.07 MB)
Study by Dr. Laurie Drabble in Child Maltreatment examined similarities and differences in values and perceived capacity for collaboration between substance abuse and child welfare, including a factor analysis of the CCI and CVI tools

Navigating the Pathways: Lessons and Promising Practices in Linking Alcohol and Drug Services with Child Welfare (TAP 27) (PDF - 6.7 MB) - Executive Summary (PDF - 11.9 MB)
Offers a unique perspective on the growing contacts across the divide that too often prevents child welfare and substance abuse agencies from working together as closely as they need to in order to help children and families affected by substance abuse. Using a ten-element framework to measure the capacity of agencies to work as partners on the substance abuse needs of child welfare services clients, this TAP describes seven sites from around the Nation that have implemented programs for families in the child welfare system with substance use disorders.