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Policy and Practice Considerations for Drug Testing in Child Welfare

Parental substance use affects many families who come to the attention of child welfare, and drug testing is one tool child welfare professionals often use as a component of their assessment procedures. This two-part series helps to develop clear and consistent drug testing policy and practice protocols—in collaboration with substance use disorder treatment providers and the courts—to ensure a coordinated and collaborative approach that promotes recovery. For more resource on drug testing in child welfare, watch Considerations for Developing a Child Welfare Drug Testing Policy and Protocol.

Brief 1: Considerations for Developing a Child Welfare Drug Testing Policy and Protocol

Brief 1: Considerations for Developing a Child Welfare Drug Testing Policy and Protocol

National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, 2021

Brief 1: This resource offers key steps for child welfare agency policymakers to...(Read More)

Brief 2: Drug Testing for Parents Involved in Child Welfare: Three Key Practice Points

Brief 2: Drug Testing for Parents Involved in Child Welfare: Three Key Practice Points

National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, 2021

Brief 2: This resource provides practice considerations to help child welfare workers...(Read More)

Find Help with a Personal Situation

Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment Locator

To find treatment facilities confidentially, 24/7, please call 1-800-662-4357 (HELP).

To locate general treatment services, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Treatment Locator online or call 1-800-662-4357 (HELP). This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. It is a free, confidential, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a year information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members needing treatment for a mental and/or substance use disorder.

National Child Abuse Hotline

If you suspect a child has been harmed by abuse or neglect, please call 1-800-422-4453.

If you suspect that a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed by abuse or neglect, call the National Child Abuse Hotline at Call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453. Serving the United States and Canada, the hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who—through interpreters—provide assistance in over 170 languages. All calls, texts, and chats are confidential. If you believe a child is in immediate danger of harm, call 911 first.

National Suicide Prevention Line

For free and confidential support for people in distress, 24/7, please call or text 988, chat 988Lifeline.org, or call 1-800-273-8255.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, help is available and there are options to receive compassionate care. You can call or text 988 or chat 988Lifeline.org. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Both are confidential and available 24/7 to everyone in the United States and will connect you to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you.

Contact Us

The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare offers free technical assistance to a variety of systems on making policy and practice changes to improve outcomes for families affected by substance use disorders and involvement with child welfare services. To learn more about technical assistance services or if you have a question please email NCSACW at ncsacw@cffutures.org or call toll-free at 1–866–493–2758.

National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare