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Project Overview

Collaborative effort critical to successful outcomes

The project's implementation involved twelve teams who utilized action plans to focus and implement specific best practice strategies to better serve families in the court and child protection systems that are involved in Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) cases and have AOD issues.  Active county partners since the project began, Itasca and Stearns CJI Teams serve as mentors.  With federal funding support, Stearns has an operational FDTC and Itasca has a Recovery Specialist model with notable positive outcomes within the Kathleen Blatz Family Recovery Program. 

An advisory team of representatives from the counties, including parent consultants, and the child protection, chemical dependency and juvenile protection systems are working to improve practices and system communications to ensure:

  • Parents are engaged earlier in the process of assessment, treatment and recovery
  • Partners in the process are improving practices through cross-systems collaboration, and use of team-based and relationship-focused approaches
  • Children's and families' stability are improving with increased reunification supports and services
  • Community members and stakeholders are improving their knowledge base and communication regarding families' needs and resources

As a result, the state and local teams are prepared to:

  • Identify, support, and share lessons learned on implementation of best practices
  • Increase flexibility to improve individualized planning and services
  • Further develop cross-systems partnerships and collaboration
  • Enhance knowledge about the overlap of AOD and child safety with cross-training
  • Identify and follow key performance measurements consistent with federal measures and project goals.

Outside Support Enhanced Project

The federal Department of Health and Human Services' National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW), jointly funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Administration for Children and Families' Children's Bureau Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, provided technical assistance in the early stages of the project to assist in development of foundational materials, including:

  • Shared values and guiding principles to articulate each system’s expected contributions and commitment to support, and facilitate implementation. This will later serve as a model for communities to use.
  • Parent focus group summary to highlight the voices of parents from nine focus groups conducted across the state.  Parents provided their perspectives and made recommendations for practice improvements based on their experiences with child protection, the courts, and chemical health.
  • Protocol and practice guidelines to reflect lessons learned from local teams that implemented successful strategies in working with families and from statewide parent focus groups.  Through the Eyes of a Child:  CJI-AOD Catch the Vision Tool Kit was disseminated broadly to tribes, counties, and communities to support statewide implementation of twenty promising practices to improve outcomes for families.

For more information about NCSACW, visit http://ncsacw.samhsa.gov/. Registering at this site provides access to no-cost Web-based training for child welfare workers, chemical health professionals, and court personnel to learn about each other's systems.  For more information about the CJI-AOD Project, call Carole Johnson at the State Court Administrator's Office at (651) 296-2269.