DACCO staff recently participated in Floridas Annual Dependency Summit in Orlando. The Summit provided child protective investigators, community-based care administrators and case managers, as well as judges, general magistrates, attorneys, law enforcement officials, child advocates and medical & behavioral health providers the opportunity to share child welfare best practices in our state.
Kandace Nollie, DACCO Court Services Supervisor, participated in a mock trial that illustrated how a relapse during treatment was managed in court. The identified family was enrolled in the Childrens Reunification Services Collaborative (CRSC), a federally funded program that enhances the safety of children affected by parental substance abuse. The mock trial included Judge Jack Espinosa, CRSC System Navigators, dependency court case managers, attorneys, and guardian ad litem. After the trial, clients John and Tina spoke some heartfelt words on their journey to recovery.
Dr. Jason Fields, DACCOs medical expert in medication assisted treatment (MAT) for pregnant women addicted to opiate based prescription drugs and Linda Mann, DACCOs Director of Womens Services, recently presented at the National Conference on Substance Abuse, Child Welfare and the Courts in Washington, D.C. Their presentation focused on a medical overview of MAT as a treatment solution for opiate dependence, particularly during pregnancy. The presentation also addressed the prevalent misconceptions and resistance to MAT in the child welfare system and the inroads that have made in educating decision makers in the system about this proven treatment. Childrens Reunification Services Collaborative (CRSC) partners attending this conference included Hillsborough County Children and Family Services, the Childrens Home and Tampa Metropolitan YMCA.
Providing education and training continues to be one of DACCOs many initiatives to address the prescription drug epidemic impacting Hillsborough County. Presentations by Dr. Jason Fields at both St. Josephs and Tampa General OB/GYN Grand Rounds with local obstetricians, neonatologists and social workers were well attended. A third presentation on the benefits of medication assisted treatment for pregnant women addicted to Roxy/Oxycontin is scheduled in January for Pediatric Grand Rounds at Tampa General Hospital.