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Basics & Beyond: Connecting Engagement & Intervention in Families Affected by Substance Use Disorder (Virtual)
Thursday, April 18, 2024, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM CDT
Category: Training

This workshop will build worker's knowledge, understanding, and application of 3 key practice points for working with families affected by SUD. Learners will build or enhance their foundation of key practices and considerations for assessment, screening, and drug testing, including understanding behavioral indicators which support parental drug testing, types of testing available, and the approach to implementation of testing. Building upon the foundational practices, learners will gain and apply effective strategies for engaging families in relationship building, case planning, and supporting SUD treatment options. Workers will gain increased confidence in their ability to integrate family driven, relational, and trauma informed approaches within their everyday work.

 Intended Audience:  

  • Family Centered Services worker (FCS), Recruitment/Retention Training Support workers
    • Direct Care/Front-Line Staff, Supervisors; Beginner staff (less than 1-2 years of experience), refresher for experienced staff


1. Identify standard practices for screening, assessment, and evaluation of alcohol and substance use/abuse including evidence-based measures.
2. Understand the role, impact, and limitations of biological drug testing and best practices for ongoing use.
3. Understand the complex personal and systemic factors present when serving persons with substance abuse and substance use disorder and their impact during evaluation, engagement, and intervention.
4. Learn and practice key relational practices and interventions to increase family engagement and outcomes. 

Location Info:

Jennie Null - Jennie serves as the Learning and Development Manager within the Meraki Institute of Learning at Tanager Place in Cedar Rapids IA. Jennie is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. She has advanced trainings in Family Therapy, Play Therapy, Sand Tray Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and reprocessing, Clinical Supervision, Restorative Practices, and Leadership. Jennie has presented internationally on topics related to leadership, staff development, trauma informed care, resilience, and wellbeing. Jennie has also designed and facilitated professional development courses for school districts, non-profits, and youth and family service providers focused on the RISE: Wellness & Resilience Framework, trauma informed care, youth mental health considerations, family & parent engagement, t, compassion resiliency, and various leadership topics. She finds passion assisting others on their journey whether it be in a therapeutic relationship, clinical supervision, and growth, facilitating highly reflective trainings, or mentoring.

Registration will begin at 8:30AM. Training will begin promptly at 9:00AM. This training is scheduled until 12pm.

Please note: Priority seating is provided to staff working within one of the current DHS child welfare service contracts, including: Family Centered Services (FCS); Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) / Group Foster Care; Child Welfare Emergency Services (CWES): Aftercare Services; Supervised Apartment Living (SAL); Recruitment, Retention, Training and Support Services (RRTS); Parent Partners; Foster Care Youth Council. If you do not work within one of the current DHS child welfare services contract, you may be bumped from the course and placed on a wait list.

 If you have questions regarding seating for the training or if you are unable to participate for any reason, please contact us ([email protected]).


Contact: For more information contact us at [email protected]