Creating safe care: Supporting pregnant and parenting patients who use drugs

Care management & redesign Behavioral health & addiction Pregnancy & children

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Punitive drug and child welfare policies mean that pregnant or parenting people who use drugs are less likely to access prenatal and postnatal care. When they do, they encounter unique forms of stigma, discrimination, and legal challenges.

This report and toolkit, created with support from Vital Strategies, equip healthcare providers with the knowledge and tools they need to support pregnant and parenting people who use drugs, aiming to render reports made to child welfare services a last resort. It highlights the health and social needs of pregnant and parenting people who use drugs, and offers strategies grounded in racial equity, compassion, and harm reduction principles. 

The toolkit is organized into five main sections:  

  • Relationship-building 
  • Screening  
  • Treatment planning 
  • Reporting  
  • Providers as partners  

The Creating safe care report provides an overview of child welfare policy, parental substance use, and maternal health from a racial equity lens. It introduces and contextualizes the tools and resources in the five sections listed above.

The Tools for creating safe care document includes the tools — including checklists, scripts, worksheets, and templates — that correspond to the sections introduced in the report.