Drug & Alcohol

The Pennsylvania State Roundtable commissioned the Drug and Alcohol Workgroup in May 2013.  The Workgroup was tasked with exploring the issues of substance use and abuse and its impact on children and families within the dependency system and making best practice recommendations.  The State Roundtable identified the issues of effective parental substance abuse treatment, developing shared values, and enhancing collaboration as priorities for the Workgroup.

The Workgroup is co-chaired by the Honorable Jonathan Mark, Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County, and Kerry Browning, Deputy Director, Department of Human Services, Office of Youth and Family Services of Lackawanna County. Workgroup members include a variety of respected state and local experts representing multiple disciplines including: courts, child welfare, substance abuse, and attorneys for parents and children. Click here for a complete listing of Workgroup members.

The mission of the Drug and Alcohol Workgroup is to promote child safety, permanence, and well-being for families touched by substance use disorders by providing access to a continuum of services that include early engagement, cross-systems collaboration, and clinical integrity.  Through the exploration of current services and programs coupled with the best collaborative thinking by courts, child welfare, and drug and alcohol professionals, the Workgroup plans to offer insight and best practice suggestions for handling dependency cases touched by substance abuse issues.

The Workgroup lead the examination of this issue through a partnership with the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare. Through this partnership, eight voluntary counties (representative of Pennsylvania) received In-Depth Technical Assistance to closely examine the issue in their respective counties and develop solutions/strategies to strengthen the work. That initiative was found to be extremely beneficial to the counties so the Workgroup created a similar process, the Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol In-Depth Analysis, that can be used by other counties to examine this issue within their own system.

In October 2020, the State Roundtable approved the Drug & Alcohol Workgroup’s recommendation to sunset as all of the original charges had been accomplished.

To view the Drug & Alcohol Workgroup State Roundtable Reportsclick here.

To view the Drug & Alcohol Workgroup Materials & Resourcesclick here.