Substance Use, the Opioid Epidemic, and the Child Welfare System: Key Findings from a Mixed Methods Study

This brief from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) presents key takeaway messages from a mixed-methods study examining how substance use affects child welfare systems across the country. It highlights that, generally, counties with higher overdose death and drug hospitalization rates have higher caseload rates.

This document also explains that child welfare agencies and their community partners are struggling to meet families’ needs partially secondary to substance use and that family-friendly treatment options are limited. Finally, the brief emphasizes that caseworkers, courts, and other providers often misunderstand how treatment works and lack guidelines on how to incorporate it into child welfare practice. 

Resource Type
Peer-reviewed Articles and Reports
Continuum of Care
Response Approach
Family Support
Medications for Opioid Use Disorder