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Integrating Mental Health & Substance Abuse Strategies

Designing for Success

Addressing the Mental Health & Substance Abuse (MH/SA) Needs of Populations Served by Other State Health & Human Service Programs

Presenters:

Hernando Posada, Assistant Director, Ohio Department of Alcohol and Addiction Services, Columbus, OH.

Judge John T. Parnham, Circuit Judge, First District Court of Florida, Pensacola, FL.


This session completed the workshop's focus on specific innovative State and local programs by examining initiatives related to child welfare and the judicial system.

Hernando Posada, Assistant Director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Addiction Services, opened the session by describing Ohio's initiative to undertake a thorough assessment of programmatic and fiscal strategies for addressing the substance abuse problems of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) population and the 70 percent of parents of children in foster care who have substance abuse issues.

An important feature of this initiative is the development of a data system that will link client information across State systems while protecting confidentiality and allow the tracking and analysis of client demographics, services, and payment sources.

Judge John Parnham from the First District Court of Florida then described the "Family-Focused" Parent Drug Court he established in Pensacola, Florida. The approach is designed to promote collaboration and coordination across different government agencies, treatment providers, and the judicial system. He described a structure and process through which the judge and the court serves as an advocate for change and seeks to coordinate legal and therapeutic interventions in a support, non-adversarial manner to achieve positive outcomes.

References

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Building Perspectives and Building Common Ground, A Report to Congress on Substance Abuse and Child Protection, April 1999. Internet address: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/subabuse/99/subabuse.htm

Lutz L. Rethinking Child Welfare. Behavioral Health Tomorrow 1999 Apr;17-20.



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