Collaborative Approaches to Identifying & Serving Substance Exposed Newborns

Home | Training | Online Learning | Webcasts | Collaborative Approaches to Identifying & Serving Substance Exposed Newborns

Collaborative Approaches to Identifying and Serving Substance Exposed Newborns:
Lessons Learned from Four Demonstration Projects
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In this webcast , hosted by the National AIA Resource Center, representatives from four federally funded demonstration projects share their experiences developing policies and procedures to meet the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) mandates related to substance exposed newborns (SEN). Specifically, the presenters discuss challenges they have encountered in multidisciplinary collaboration and strategies they have employed to overcome those challenges.

They also share policies and procedures developed to identify pregnant substance users and SEN, and they present strategies the projects use to engage pregnant substance users and develop plans of safe care for SEN. Although the projects are each housed in a different type of agency – private hospital, state public health agency, local child welfare agency and university-based early intervention program – they all developed collaborative workgroups with similar representation and they all employed specialized staff to engage families in services.



Presenter Biographies

Presenter Biographies

Christina Little, PhD, Colorado’s Systems Integration Model for Infants/Baby Steps (C-SIMI), University of Colorado and Kempe Children’s Center, Denver, CO

Christina Little has an extensive background in parent-child relationships, infant mental health and development and child welfare research. Dr. Little is a Senior Instructor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine; Research Director for Infants in Foster and Kinship Care Program at the Kempe Children’s Center; and a Zero to Three fellow graduate. She also is Project Director of Colorado’s Systems Integration Model for Infants/Baby Steps (C-SIMI), a federally funded demonstration project based at the Denver Department of Human Services.

Celeste Smith, MA, Healthy Connections, St. Vincent Mercy Family Care Center, Toledo, OH

Celeste Smith is the Program Coordinator for the federally funded Healthy Connections program at St. Vincent’s Mercy Medical Center, where she has worked for 22 years. Ms. Smith is the current Chair for the St. Vincent Cultural Diversity Council. She has presented at many national conferences on the issues of substance exposed newborns, use of illegal substances and mental health. She also participates in trainings to increase her knowledge of issues related to mental health and substance abuse.

Liz Twombly, MS, Family Early Advocacy and Treatment (FEAT), Early Intervention Program Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Liz Twombly is a Senior Research Assistant and Instructor at the University of Oregon’s Early Intervention Program. For the past 4 years, Ms. Twombly has been involved in the coordination of activities related to the Family Early Advocacy and Treatment (FEAT) Project. The FEAT project has worked with a community collaborative involving local child welfare, health care and parent support agencies to develop policies and procedures to ensure better identification, referral and safe care  of substance exposed newborns in communities in Oregon.

Ms. Twombly has worked at the Early Intervention Program for close to 20 years on personal preparation and research activities related to providing services to families who have very young children with or at risk for disabilities. Her areas of interest and research include infant mental health,  the use of standardized screening tools in  health, educational and social services settings, the provision of family guided services when young children are eligible for Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Educational services. Ms. Twombly is a contributing author on the widely used developmental and social-emotional screening tools, the Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) and the Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social Emotional (ASQ:SE).

Enid Watson, MDiv, A Helping Hand: Mother to Mother, The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Institute for Health and Recovery, Boston, MA

Enid Watson is the Director of Screening and Early Identification Projects at the Institute for Health and Recovery and the Project Director of A Helping Hand: Mother to Mother (AHH), a CAPTA demonstration project based in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. AHH works to enhance identification of and services for substance exposed newborns, their mother and families, and to build collaborations with child welfare and Early Intervention programs. She also provides clinical supervision to the Peer Recovery Workers who work with the mothers of substance exposed newborns. Ms. Watson is the Massachusetts Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders State Coordinator and a certified Recovery Coach/Trainer.

Ms. Watson has worked within prenatal and primary care settings to provide gender-specific, culturally relevant behavioral health screening, develop brief intervention protocols and enhance or develop linkages to resources. Currently she is working with 32 Community Health Centers around the Commonwealth on these screening protocols. Ms. Watson is the editor and co-author of Alcohol Screening Assessment in Pregnancy: The ASAP Curriculum, and A Pre-Vocational Handbook for Women in Treatment.