Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in the Child Welfare Context: Challenges and Opportunities

four hands clasped together

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in the Child Welfare Context: Challenges and Opportunities

by Laura Radel, Melinda Baldwin, Gilbert Crouse, Robin Ghertner, and Annette Waters - November 2018

In November 2018, The U.S. DHHS Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released this brief which describes four key challenges related to the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in child welfare contexts for parents with opioid use disorder. Key challenges discussed include:

• Limited availability of appropriate treatment

• Misunderstanding of MAT

• Limited interaction between child welfare agencies and MAT providers

• Need for alignment of systems and stakeholders with different perspectives and objectives

In addition, this brief also describes opportunities to address each of the challenges described. Opportunities include new funding to expand MAT for opioid use disorder, funding soon to be available under the Family First Prevention Services Act that states may use to fund evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders to prevent children’s entry into foster care, and additional steps that could enhance the availability of MAT and improve outcomes for children and families involved with the child welfare system in part because of parents’ opioid use.

Download the ASPE Research Brief Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in the Child Welfare Context: Challenges and Opportunities for more information.