Monthly Archives: September 2017

Substance Abuse and In-Home Services Video

In celebration of our 25th anniversary, The National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) is pleased to announce the release of a video training on Substance Abuse and In-Home Services. This is the second video training that NFPN has produced on substance abuse with the first one being released in 1996. That video is still being used for training in a university course on family preservation.

The release of the new video training comes at a time when substance abuse, particularly opioids, is the most urgent health and social issue. However, it does help to keep in mind that this is not the first drug epidemic.

The crack cocaine epidemic in the 1980’s caused widespread panic due to fears of children being irreparably damaged from being born addicted through exposure in the womb to the mother’s drug use. But a study by the University of Florida showed that the babies determined safe to be left with their addictive mothers were more developmentally advanced at six months than babies removed from their mothers and placed in foster care. It is possible to provide treatment to the substance abusing parent(s) and protect children while keeping the family safely together.

Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) were successfully used to prevent out-of-home placement of children in one of the pockets of crack cocaine use in the 1980’s—the Bronx in New York City. Here’s a story of the effectiveness of IFPS during that time:

The house had no front door. There were bullet holes in the wall. Neighbors gathered on the front porch, a sentry at the door; drug traffic was heavy. The only furniture in the small two-story house was a potty seat for the toddler and a run-down couch. There were no beds, no chairs, no appliances. The family preservation therapist came daily to work with the mother and make sure the children were safe and fed. At first the mother didn’t want to get up from the floor where she slept. By the second week she was waiting on the porch for the therapist. Together they found another house. The mother moved, taking her children with her. She left the father of her four daughters; he remained on drugs. She completed a drug treatment program and is getting her GED. Now she says that if the therapist hadn’t arrived, she would not have survived.

A current IFPS program in Tennessee is proving very successful with drug-affected infants. There are also other in-home services mentioned in the video that help to preserve families involved in substance abuse.

The 90-minute video training package includes a list of 25 online supplemental resources for additional training. Pricing starts at $275. For more information and to order, contact Priscilla Martens, Executive Director,, 888-498-9047.

For quick reference, here is the link to the online information on the video:

Posted by Priscilla Martens, NFPN Executive Director