During today’s webinar, Gail Barber described the in-depth technical assistance that Iowa received through the National Center for Substance Abuse and Child Welfare from December 2007 to September 2009. Below is a summary of IDTA, including the accomplisments and products mentioned by Gail.
The IDTA in Iowa was led by the Iowa Supreme Court, Judicial Branch, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS), and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Other key stakeholders include the Attorney General’s Office, Private Child Welfare Services and the Iowa Behavioral Health Association. The partnership sought to improve policy and practices that lead to improved outcomes for children and families. The IDTA resulted in the development of a cross-systems protocol to address child welfare involved families affected by substance use disorders, a drug testing protocol and a family support model. The following summarize the major accomplishments and products of the IDTA:
- Multi-System Shared Values and Guiding Principles – Includes a clear vision of shared values and expectations, and articulated roles and responsibilities across the three systems.
- House File (HF) 2310 Protocols and Procedures – HF Bill 2310 was passed by the Iowa State Legislature in 2008. It directed DHS and IDPH to complete a study to identify effective means of reducing the incidence and impact of child abuse. As a result of HF 2310, DHS and IDPH developed the joint protocol to guide daily practice in working with families in the child welfare system who are affected by substance use disorders. Items related to the protocol, including screening tools and a joint release of information are available.
- Protocol Letter – Outlines each department’s role and responsibility was disseminated to the four counties in which the joint protocol was piloted.
- HF 2310 IDPH Data and Findings – Summarizes the findings from the IDPH web-based client data system, the Iowa Service Management and Reporting Tool. Findings demonstrated that 21.9% of clients receiving an assessment and 22.4% of clients in treatment reported having children 17 or younger living in the household.
- HF 2310 Legislative Report – A final report to the State Legislature was made in December 2010 on the outcomes from the HF 2310 pilot and recommendations to legislature for next steps across both systems.
- Family Support Model – A Parent Peer Mentor model to guide families through the Dependency Drug Court. The model was piloted in three counties and the State DHS is planning for state-wide implementation of a Parent Partner/Family Support model in 2013 and continues to track the success and subsequent outcomes of the pilot counties.
- Drug Testing Practice Bench Card – Outlines best practices in use of drug testing in an easily referenced two-page format. The state also developed a drug testing protocol that provides guidelines for drug testing across the three systems. The protocol and bench card has been adopted by all three systems. DHS and IDPH are in the process of developing a worker’s manual to accompany the bench card.