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Impact of substance abuse and child maltreatment training on service utilization in a rural setting

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Substance abuse and child maltreatment have been recognized as co-morbid problems encountered in families presenting in the child protective services (CPS) system. Nonetheless, utilization rates of substance abuse treatment services have generally lagged well behind what the research would suggest are prevalence rates for substance abuse disorders in this population, suggesting problems in recognition and referral practices among CPS workers. In response to this, 25 training programs were funded by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. This study reports data from one program. Trainees indicated a high level of satisfaction and demonstrated significant knowledge gains. More importantly, utilization of substance abuse services increased significantly across time in a multi-county region receiving training relative to a comparison region receiving none. The gain was limited, suggesting that while increased knowledge may translate into increased service utilization, additional barriers to accessing needed services must also be addressed.

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Correspondence to Mark Chaffin Ph.D..

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Chaffin, M., Kelleher, K., Harber, G. et al. Impact of substance abuse and child maltreatment training on service utilization in a rural setting. J Child Fam Stud 3, 379–387 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02233997

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Key Words

  • training programs
  • child protective services
  • child maltreatment
  • substance abuse