September 2017


Volume 2, Issue 9: September 5, 2017

The ATTC Center of Excellence on Behavioral Health for Pregnant and Postpartum Women and Their Families (ATTC CoE-PPW) has launched Families In Focus, an e-newsletter for PPW programs. This publication contains updates on the work of the ATTC CoE-PPW, including new resources, training offerings, opportunities to connect with other PPW programs, and more. Visit to learn more about the ATTC CoE-PPW.


Coming soon from ATTC CoE-PPW!

The ATTC CoE-PPW will be releasing a number of products during the month of September. See below for a preview of what is to come. If you have any questions about these products, email

DOCUMENTARY - Bring Them All: A Family-Centered Approach to Addiction Treatment

The ATTC CoE-PPW is producing a documentary as part of its curriculum development to promote a family-centered approach to treatment and recovery. "Bring Them All" tells the story of family-centered care through the perspectives of clients and staff at SHIELDS for Families, a treatment program in Compton, CA. A pioneer in this model of care, Co-founder and CEO Kathryn Icenhower, PhD and her team describe what it’s like to work in a program that lets women bring their whole family, including fathers/partners and children, to experience the recovery journey as a family. The full documentary will be released in mid-September. Click here to watch the trailer!

TRAINING CURRICULUM - Easier Together: Partnering with Families to Make Recovery Possible

This curriculum contains five, 45-minute modules designed for in-person delivery. It aims to provide the knowledge and skills needed to serve pregnant and postpartum women and their families in a family-centered approach. The curriculum is targeted toward SUD treatment providers and their community partners, including child welfare, child development, healthcare, housing, and others. Modules include: 1) Introduction, 2) Family-Centered Care, 3a) Building Programs for Fathers: Why Involve Fathers?, 3b) Building Programs for Fathers: Developing Interventions, and 3c) Building Programs for Fathers: Case-Based Application. The curriculum includes the full "Bring Them All" documentary plus topic-specific vignettes. Trainer and participant manuals will be available for free download on our site and shipped to all SAMHSA PPW grantees and ATTC Regional Centers.

MONOGRAPH - Perspectives on Family-Centered Care for Pregnant and Postpartum Women: Broadening the Scope of Addiction Treatment and Recovery

This interview monograph will offer the expertise, ideas, and inspiration of seven people who have been working hard to define, refine, and provide family-centered services to pregnant and postpartum women (PPW) with substance use disorders (SUDs). Interviewees are comprised of researchers, educators, clinicians, policy makers, and program administrators and directors. Interviews touch upon several themes including defining the family-centered approach; meeting children's needs; including fathers; the role of culture; the challenges of trauma, stigma, and discrimination; focus on recovery; mapping a vision for the future; funding and sustainability; and strategy. The monograph will be available for free download on our site and shipped to all SAMHSA PPW grantees and ATTC Regional Centers.

ONLINE COURSE - Caring for and Empowering Women with Substance Use Disorders: Reproductive and Sexual Health

Our new e-learning course will feature a series of modules for clinicians and staff who work with and support women in treatment and recovery. The first module, scheduled to come out by the end of September, will focus on women’s reproductive and sexual health. This module will include interactive activities and short video clips narrated by Dr. Hendree Jones from UNC Horizons Program. Topics discussed will include family planning and sexually transmitted infections among women who misuse substances. An additional module on medications for addiction treatment (MAT) during pregnancy will be developed this fall.


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in the Context of Women's Treatment Planning

Learn more about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), a group of conditions that can occur in an individual whose mother used alcohol during pregnancy. During the August 1st PPW Project ECHO, Georgiana Wilton, PhD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, delivered a didactic presentation on FASD and implications during treatment planning. The presentation reviewed the data on alcohol use during pregnancy, screening for FASD, and tips to support families impacted by FASD. The presentation is available for on-demand viewing on our site. Slides can also be downloaded and include links to a number of resources, including some of the following:

Services for Older Children (6-18)

Many programs offer services for infants and younger children, while older children are an important yet overlooked age group. During the August 18th PPW Project ECHO, Kathryn Icenhower, PhD, CEO and Co-founder of SHIELDS for Families, delivered a didactic presentation on the importance of engaging older children in a mother's treatment. The presentation provided some examples of programming for children between the ages of 6-18 years and resources to learn more about the specific needs of this population. The presentation is available for on-demand viewing on our site. Slides can also be downloaded and include links to a number of resources, including some of the following:

End of PPW ECHO Cohort 1

The 6-month PPW ECHO Cohort 1 has come to a close. We want to thank all of the participants, including over 50 staff members from SAMHSA PPW and HRSA Healthy Start grantees (Spokes) and our excellent subject matter consultants (Hub team). Currently, an evaluation of the project is underway and results will be shared in an upcoming newsletter. Didactic recordings and slides will continue to be available on our website.

Research Update | PPW and Families in the Literature

  • Impact of Mindfulness-Based Parenting in Women in Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder: This study from the Journal of Addiction Medicine examines the issue of maladaptive parenting in women with opioid addictions and how to improve quality of parenting through the use of mindfulness-based parenting (MBP) intervention. Within the study, women recruited from substance use disorder treatment programs showed clinically significant improvement in the quality of their parenting behavior. Results of this study show promise to the model of MBP intervention and supporting parenting of mothers with opioid use disorders to enhance bonding.

  • Risk of Neonatal Drug Withdrawal After Intrauterine Co-Exposure to Opioids and Psychotropic Medications: A Cohort Study: This study from the BMJ analyzes the effects of opioid and psychotropic medications during pregnancy in relation to risk of neonatal drug withdrawals. Within the United States about 14-22% of pregnancies are complicated due to the use of prescription opioid medications – resulting in an infant being born every 25 minutes with signs of opioid withdrawal. Researchers concluded that despite a lack of safety data, use of prescription opioids and psychotropic medications is common during pregnancy. However, study findings showed a 30-60% increase in the risk of neonatal drug withdrawal associatted with co-exposure to prescription opioids and antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and gabapentin.

  • Head of UN Drug Body Urges Greater Access to Treatment for Women: This interview with Viroj Sumyai, the President of the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), discusses key problems in relation to women and substance use. Sumyai urges that the disproportionate problem of substance use among women and a lack of resources available to women in low- and middle-income countries should be made priorities by UN Member States in addressing prevention of drug addictions.

  • Daughters of Mothers Who Smoke: Are They More Likely to Smoke During Their Own Pregnancies?: This research review analyzes a recent study from the Addiction Smoking Health Education Service focusing on the intergenerational role of mothers’ smoking during pregnancy and the risk of their daughters’ smoking in their own pregnancies. Evidence suggests that daughters of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to smoke during their own pregnancies, regardless of other lifestyle factors. The identification of this risk factor is a key step to identifying patients at risk of smoking during pregnancy and intervening in the cycle of intergenerational smoking.

  • Children Living with Parents with a Substance Use Disorder: A recent report published by SAMHSA has revealed that 1 in 8 children lived with a parent with a substance use disorder within the last year. The information presented in this report highlights the extent to which substance use disorder prevention and treatment can be used to engage the whole family. Read the full article here.

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FAMILIES IN FOCUS is a publication of the ATTC CoE-PPW. You may Unsubscribe at any time.

The mission of the ATTC CoE-PPW is to strengthen the ability of the behavioral healthcare workforce to serve the pregnant and postpartum population. The ATTC CoE-PPW is funded by SAMHSA as a supplement to the Mid-America ATTC, in partnership with the Great Lakes, New England, and Southeast ATTCs.