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Special Topic – Considerations for Families in the Child Welfare System Affected by Methamphetamine

Description and Objectives

The goal of this special topic training is to provide an overview of the effects of methamphetamine use on families. The training provides information on methamphetamine and signs of use. Participants will be able to assess how methamphetamine use may impact the safety and well-being of the family and gain an understanding of the warning signs of methamphetamine manufacturing. Participants will learn referral and treatment options for family members.

After completing this training, child welfare workers will:

  • Discuss the context and prevalence of methamphetamine use
  • Identify the effects of methamphetamine use
  • Recognize signs of methamphetamine use with families in child welfare
  • Recognize signs of methamphetamine manufacturing
  • Understand the effects of parental methamphetamine use on risk and safety to children
  • Identify evidence-based and practice-informed strategies to address methamphetamine use disorders, engagement strategies, and treatment resources
  • Apply casework practice strategies in child welfare cases involving methamphetamine

Training Tips

  • Partner with medical providers on screening and treatment for infants with prenatal substance exposure
  • Use the *** bolded discussion questions integrated in the module talking points to enrich the training
  • Share or incorporate agency policy and procedures on infants with prenatal substance exposure
  • Integrate information on the plan of safe care used in your state
  • Contact the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare for more information about using the Collaborative Values Inventory, a self-administered questionnaire that provides jurisdictions with an anonymous way of assessing the extent to which group members share ideas about the values that underlie their collaborative efforts, in your community


  • Computer and projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Facilitator's Guide
  • Flip chart paper or white board (for use as a visual aid during discussion)

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, 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 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 or call toll-free at 1–866–493–2758.

National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare