The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Social Work: M.S.W


Social Work


School of Health and Human Services

First Advisor

Gary Whitford Holey

Second Advisor

Sara DeVos

Third Advisor

Joseph Melcher

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Chemical dependency is a leading cause of children being placed on out of home care by child protective services. Because chemical dependency affects so many parents in the child welfare system this study focused on the collaborations experiences of child protection workers and Licensed Alcohol and Drug counselors while working with substance abusing parents under the Adoption and Safe Families Act permanency timelines. Findings from in-depth qualitative interviews with child protection workers and substance abuse counselors are reported in story form based on the workers experiences in their position. Finding suggests that there are many barriers to collaboration between child protection workers and substance abuse counselors. Differing job responsibilities and philosophies was a major contributor to poor communication. Discussion about co-occurring conditions such as mental health also played a role as a barrier to collaborations. There was also discussion about unrealistic expectations of the Adoption and Safe Families Act and how that affected substance abusing parents. The study also focused on the benefits to collaboration which included open and timely communication and changes that could be done on both micro and macro level social work practice.