In 2016, federal legislation was passed that requires the Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) to report aggregate data on the number of infants prenatally exposed to substances. The legislation also requires DCYF to create a Plan of Safe Care (POSC) addressing the needs of the mother/birth parent and baby (dyad/couplet).

Because this legislation requires data collection and a POSC for dyads that may not have any safety concerns, a new policy and program has been created so that dyads without safety concerns are connected to voluntary wrap-around services in their community at no charge through Help Me Grow Washington.

A POSC is a family-centered prevention plan that promotes the safety and well-being of infants with prenatal substance exposure and their birthing parents. It can strengthen protective factors, promote healthy development, and prevent child welfare involvement through connections to early intervention, parenting education, safety guidance, and wrap-around resources and services.

Families impacted by substance use can also receive voluntary wrap-around services without a clinical referral for a POSC. Any family in the state can call the Help Me Grow Washington Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 to receive support.

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