Cross-Systems Work


 When two or more systems work together, cross-training is key. Different systems often approach the same topic using different language, procedures and points of reference.

 It is just as important for addictions workers to be familiar with the work of collaborating departments as it is for those workers to have basic training in addictions.

Massachusetts Interagency Council on Substance Abuse and Prevention

  This Interagency Council meets four times a year. Its purpose is to maximize coordination regularly across state agencies to increase collaboration on key issues relating to substance abuse, treatment and prevention.

 Department of Children and Families (DCF)/Department of Public Health (DPH)

 DCF and DPH are currently the co-grantees for the 2 federal ACYF grants and the departments have 15 + years of collaboration with the goal of improving services for families impacted by substance use disorders.

 Here are some examples of addiction-related interagency collaborations in Massachusetts:

 On a national level, many resources are available through the Free tutorials are available such as “Understanding Substance Use Disorders” and “Treatment and Family Recovery: A Guide for Child Welfare Professionals”.

Family Recovery Council of Hampden County & Southeastern MA

The Family Recovery Council began as a collaboration between the Department of Public Health (Bureau of Substance Abuse Services) and the Department of Children and Families. It brings together providers from Substance Abuse Treatment, Child Welfare, Early Intervention, Mental Health, Corrections, and Medical settings, and strives to be a model for cross-systems work across the state. Click here to download the Family Recovery Council brochure.

Its mission is:

  • To remove barriers to treatment services for families struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders
  • To improve communication and collaboration across systems, in order to provide high-quality care and coordination of support for families in recovery
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In Dedication to Chasity Armstrong-Menard: