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Center on Human Development and Disability


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Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP)

Contact: Therese Grant, 206-543-7155

Core Function: Clinical Services

The Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP) is a home visitation intervention program that works with women who abuse alcohol or drugs during pregnancy, with the aim of preventing future alcohol- and drug-exposed births among these mothers. PCAP supports mothers in achieving this goal by helping them complete substance abuse treatment and stay in recovery and by motivating them to choose effective family planning methods.

The goals of the program are to (1) assist mothers in obtaining treatment, maintaining recovery, and resolving the complex problems associated with their substance abuse; (2) guarantee that the children are in a safe environment and receiving appropriate health care; (3) effectively link families with community resources; and (4) demonstrate successful strategies for working with this population to prevent the risk of future drug- and alcohol-affected children.

Originally a federal research demonstration grant from 1991 to 1995, PCAP is now funded by the Washington State Legislature to serve over 900 families in twelve counties (King, Pierce, Yakima, Grant, Spokane, Cowlitz, Skagit, Clallam, Kitsap, Clark, Thurston, and Grays Harbor counties). State funding has allowed the program to broaden its focus to include women who have a child with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The program is coordinated by a training and evaluation component at the UW Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, Health Sciences Administration. In addition PCAP has been replicated at numerous sites in the United States (funded by SAMHSA and HRSA’s Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program) and at nearly 40 sites in Canada (funded by the provincial government of Alberta and by the First Nations Inuit Health Branch in Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba.

PCAP intervention is provided by trained and supervised case managers who work with a caseload of 16 mothers and their families for three years, beginning during pregnancy or up to six months postpartum. The case managers offer regular home visitation and link women and their families with a comprehensive array of existing community resources to address health care, housing, child welfare, and other issues. Case managers help mothers identify personal goals and the steps necessary to achieve them; they monitor progress, facilitate case conferencing and integrated service delivery among providers, transport clients and children to important appointments, and work actively with the extended family.

More Information

Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP)

Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit (FADU) Projects

University of Washington • Center on Human Development and Disability Box 357920 • Seattle WA 98195-7920 USA • 206-543-7701 •

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