U.S Department of Health and Human Services U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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Los Angeles County, California, Pre-IDTA, December 2010 - August 2012

Pre-IDTA technical assistance is intended to build the capacity and readiness of sites through initial data collection and cross-systems product development for participation in a more intense IDTA. The Los Angeles pre-IDTA involved the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS); the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC); and the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Juvenile Division, Dependency Court.

The pre-IDTA sought to develop a comprehensive screening, assessment and treatment protocol to enhance the continuum of substance abuse services. The pre-IDTA resulted in pilot implementation of Project SAFE (Screening and Assessment for Family Engagement) in which a screening tool and clinical assessment were implemented to identify parental or caregiver substance use as a factor in child maltreatment. The following summarize the major accomplishments and products of the pre-IDTA:

  • Memorandum of Understanding (PDF 850.5 KB) - Between DCFS and DPH outlining the responsibilities of each system in the pilot implementation, including issues of confidentiality, pilot evaluation and fiscal provisions.
  • Project SAFE Protocol and Forms (PDF 195 KB) - Guidelines for referral, reporting timelines and communication across systems. The protocol includes a referral form, authorization to release information (including a Spanish language version), a checklist of established criteria to assist in the observation and documentation of signs and symptoms of substance use, a service-area based list of participating CASC sites and a case flow graphic. The protocol was informed by a variety of products, including a virtual walk-through of the DCFS ER process and an inventory of existing programs for DCFS families affected by substance use disorders.
  • Virtual Walk-Through (PDF 281 KB) - Provides a visual representation of the DCFS child abuse/neglect investigative process in regard to allegations involving parental or caregiver substance use. Used to inform the development of the Project SAFE protocol.
  • Inventory of Existing Programs for DCFS Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders (PDF 70KB) - Used to inform the development of the Project SAFE protocol.
  • Cost-Resource Analysis (PDF 131 KB) - Analysis based on 1) county-level and service-area utility of the DCFS drug testing program and 2) county-level utility of existing DCFS serving substance use programs. Used to identify the Project SAFE pilot sites and to determine the estimated capacity for county-wide and pilot implementation.
  • Trainings on Project SAFE (PDF 206 KB) - Includes various documents related to the development and facilitation of a cross-systems training for the Project SAFE pilot. The documents include an inventory of current child welfare and substance use related training resources, a training plan and a sample pilot training presentation.
  • Evaluation Plan and Pilot Data Collection (PDF 633 KB) - Includes an evaluation plan outlining the process and program performance outcomes that were examined in the Project SAFE pilot study. Includes sample data collection logs for collection of data from manual and automated systems used by DCFS and SAPC.