Introduction to Working with Substance-Abusing Families

The majority of Native families that encounter the child welfare system are dealing with substance abuse. In this nine-module interactive online course designed for practitioners working in the field of Indian child welfare, Tribal and First Nations child welfare workers can learn a culturally based and trauma-informed approach to helping families restore safe parenting capacity as part of substance abuse recovery. Participants will learn about the basics of addiction and recovery in the context of child welfare, identification of alcohol and drug use, the roles of the child welfare worker when working with substance-abusing families, and the importance of, and strategies for, mobilizing treatment and systems collaboration for successful outcomes. The online course can be completed at your own pace, and you can earn three continuing education credits through the National Association of Social Workers Washington State Chapter upon successful completion of the 30-question final exam. Thank you to the Meyer Memorial Trust for support in the creation of this course.

After completing this course, learners should be able to:

  1. Be able to discuss the impact of parental substance abuse on children.
  2. Know the key roles that tribal child welfare workers can play to work successfully with substance-abusing families.
  3. Understand the relationship between the progression of substance abuse disorders, treatment, and child welfare interventions.
  4. Know the promise and importance of interagency collaboration with substance-abusing families.

Fees and Registration

Individuals – $75 (includes 3 CEUs)
Register online with credit card
Learners looking to start the course right away may do so online with a credit card.

Register online with credit card

Learners looking to start the course right away may do so online with a credit card.



Register using our form with check or purchase order

Learners who need to pay by check or wish to mail in a paper registration simply need to return your completed registration form with payment to:

National Indian Child Welfare Association
5100 S Macadam Avenue, Suite 300
Portland, OR 97239
Or fax your registration to (503) 274-1645

Once your payment has been received and processed, you will receive a confirmation email with a login and password information. (Participants who register online should get a login instantly. Participants who register via mail or fax should allow for three to five business days between NICWA receiving payment and confirmation.) Once registered, you will have six months to finish the course.

Group Contracts

Discounts are available for groups! For more on group contracts, email

Course Content and Format

Certification of Completion and Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
This course includes three CEUs approved by the National Association of Social Workers-Washington Chapter. A certificate of completion is available for those who receive a score of at least 80% on the certificate of completion test. Learners who do not pass the test may retake it as many times as they wish within six months of first registering.


Length of Course
The course will take about three hours to complete, including the final quiz. It is divided into nine modules and each module is followed by a learning refection. It can be completed in several sessions and learners may log in to continue the course at any time.


Technical Requirements
For this course to operate properly, your computer must have sound and an active internet connection.