The Children’s Bureau recently issued the sixth report to Congress on the Regional Partnership Grants program, which support collaboration among child welfare and substance abuse treatment agencies to improve the well-being, permanency, and safety outcomes for children in or at risk of entering foster care due to a parent or caregiver’s substance use. The December 2021 report describes the partnerships, activities, and evaluation findings for the third cohort of grantees whose grants ended in September 2019 and the fourth cohort of grantees whose grants will end in September 2022, referred to as RPG3 and RGP4, respectively.

RPG3 grantees made progress in achieving cross-agency collaboration and successful implementation of evidence-based practices. The report indicated that grantees and their partners “established common goals, set the stage for coordination, and achieved some elements of integrated service provision.” The more comprehensive and coordinated support that can be provided to families who are vulnerable, the better their outcomes will be.

The report also outlined the planned projects and evaluations for the fourth cohort of grants. Most RPG4 projects planned to focus on services related to family strengthening, case management, trauma and behavioral health, and substance use treatment. The forthcoming national cross-site evaluation(s) for the RPG4 projects will analyze partnerships that form the basis of each project, who was served, how they were served, their outcomes, and the impacts of the projects. HHS will issue a final report on cross-site evaluation findings for this cohort during FY2023.

2014 and 2017 Regional Partnership Grants to Increase the Well-Being and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes of Children Affected by Substance Abuse: Sixth Report to Congress, published by Mathematica Policy Research, is available here. For additional information on regional partnership grants, go to the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare website.

By Alex Lord-Wilkinson, Policy Intern, Pizzigati Fellow