Best Practice

Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP)

State/Jurisdiction: Washington
Setting: Community
Topic Area: Safe and Connected Communities Mental Health & Substance Use Birth Outcomes

Since 1991, the Parent‐Child Assistance Program (PCAP) has used a theory-based model (relational theory, stages of change, and harm reduction) to serve pregnant and parenting mothers who have substance use disorders. PCAP intervention activities are conducted by trained and supervised case managers who each work with sixteen families for three years, developing supportive, empathic relationships with their clients and conducting regular face-to-face visits depending on the needs of the family. PCAP case managers are positive coaches and role models who work with women to identify goals and help them take the incremental steps necessary to achieve goals . They connect families with comprehensive services and teach mothers to navigate community provider systems including housing, and physical and mental health services. PCAP’s evidence base consistently demonstrates the intervention’s effectiveness in assisting participants to access substance abuse treatment, reduce alcohol and drug use, maintain child custody, and prevent future births of alcohol and drug exposed infants.

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Implementation Handout
Program Overview
Research to Practice Brief

University of Washington
Susan Stoner
(206) 543-4520
Practice Website