Challenges in Providing Substance Use Disorder Treatment to Child Welfare Clients in Rural Communities

Publisher: Washington, DC: Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jan 31, 2020
Elizabeth Clary, Christina Ribar, and Elizabeth Weigensberg

This brief summarizes the challenges involved in serving rural families involved with the child welfare system who have substance use issues. A forthcoming companion brief will discuss promising strategies for serving these families. Key findings include:

  • Rural communities often lack the resources to provide services to parents struggling with substance use issues. Rural economics, transportation and technological limitations exacerbate these challenges.
  • Child welfare agencies and substance use treatment providers face particular challenges to collaboration with one another in rural communities. Stigma, lack of anonymity and misinformation compound these issues.
  • Strategies specifically tailored to rural communities are needed to improve service access, develop workforce capacity and improve collaboration.
Senior Staff

Elizabeth Weigensberg
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