Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet


The U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conducted a study and determined that approximately one-third to two-thirds of child neglect cases had some form of substance abuse related to the case. Further, it is reported that women who use alcohol or drugs are two times more likely to lose custody of their children than non- using mothers. The purpose of this study is to examine which treatment modalities substance use counselors find most effective when treating women with children. This study utilized a qualitative design asking eight open ended questions to fourteen substance use counselors employed at Prototypes in Pomona, CA. The substance use counselors were asked questions regarding what treatments they offered at their facility, what they believed the most effective treatment modalities are when treating women with children, and what barriers they faced when treating women with children.

Findings from this study found the holistic and client centered approaches to be the most effective treatment modalities when treating women with children. The holistic approach considers every aspect of the client’s life and the client centered approach allows the counselors to develop care plans that are specific to their client’s unique needs. Social workers should strive to keep women with their children while they are in treatment. Further research is needed to gain a better understanding of this population and to provide appropriate treatment, services, and resources to women and their children.

Included in

Social Work Commons