Blending Perspectives and Building Common Ground. Building a Stronger Continuum of Interventions


Specialized services for female substance abusers, particularly those who are parents, is a relatively new concept in substance abuse treatment, one which has developed considerably over the past decade.  During that time as well, the child welfare field has come to recognize that substance abuse is among the most pressing problems facing families who neglect or abuse their children.  While these fields have a long way to go in improving how they work together to serve their mutual clients, we have learned a great deal about what it takes to produce positive outcomes for these parents and children.  Improved efforts across a wide spectrum of activities from prevention through aftercare are needed in States and communities across our nation.  While we do not believe that any of us yet has put in place an entirely satisfactory network of interventions, the examples and research results described above demonstrate that we have solid indications of how outcomes can be improved at each stage of intervention.  Strengthened partnerships between child welfare and substance abuse professionals are key to many of these innovations.