Parental substance use and home visiting programs: Implementation considerations for relationship-based treatment

Author Department

Medicine; Healthcare Quality; Pediatrics

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Home visiting programs can provide critical support to mothers in recovery from substance use disorders (SUDs) and young children prenatally exposed to substances. However, families impacted by maternal SUDs may not benefit from traditional child-focused developmental home visiting services as much as families not impacted by SUDs, suggesting the need to adjust service provision for this population. Given the need to implement tailored services within home visiting programs for families impacted by SUDs, we sought to investigate the implementation barriers and facilitators to inform future integration of a relationship-based parenting intervention developed specifically for parents with SUDs (Mothering from the Inside Out) into home visiting programs. We conducted nine interviews and five focus groups with a racially diverse sample (N = 38) of parents and providers delivering services for families affected by SUDs in the USA. Qualitative content analysis yielded three most prominent themes related to separate implementation domains and their associated barriers and facilitators: (1) engagement, (2) training, and (3) sustainability. We concluded that the home visiting setting may mitigate the logistical barriers to access for families affected by SUDs, whereas relationship-based services may mitigate the emotional barriers that parents with SUDs experience when referred to home visiting programs.

Keywords: barriers and facilitators; home visiting; implementation; parental substance use disorder; relationship-based parenting intervention.