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How to Use Data for Change: Improving Outcomes for Families Affected by Substance Use

National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare

Date: October 26, 2023 | Length: 50:30

In most child welfare systems, the majority of cases include parental substance use as a factor in the case. How do practitioners 1) ensure that current efforts are meeting the needs of families and 2) determine whether programmatic and systemic improvements are needed? Practitioners can use data—based on shared outcomes established by child welfare, dependency courts, and substance use service providers—to paint a compelling picture for key decision-makers to take action to improve outcomes for children and parents.

This webinar highlights a step-by-step approach to data-driven decision-making among partners. Learn which child welfare and substance use services data sets can help measure shared outcomes and launch a cross-sector approach to improving outcomes for these children and parents. View the audio description version .


  • - Hanh Dao, MSW, NCSACW Senior Program Associate
  • - Cara Kelly, PhD, Child Welfare Program Specialist, Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families
  • - Erin Smead, MSW, NCSACW Senior Program Associate

Topic(s): Building Collaborative Capacity

Section: Related Online Training, Videos, and Webinars

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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