JF&CS Staff Present for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Caring for Generations

Press Release

JF&CS Staff Present for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) 2016 National Conference

WALTHAM, MA (August 31, 2016) – Eda Spielman, PsyD, Clinical Director of the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support® (CERS) was invited to join the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (SAMHSA/CSAT) by invitation only stakeholder meeting to shape guidelines for family-centered care programs for mothers in recovery. The purpose of the gathering was to consider how to expand design options for the Pregnant and Parenting Women’s (PPW) substance use disorders treatment programs. 

The input of the summit will inform the development of family-centered designs for alternative service in various settings, including residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient with housing components. JF&CS is honored to be a voice during this meeting.

In addition, Dr. Spielman and Amy Sommer, LICSW, Clinical Coordinator for JF&CS Project NESST® and Project Bright presented at the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) 2016 National Conference in Orange Country, California, held from August 1-3.  The conference, Advancing Excellence in Practice and Policy: What Works for Families Affected by Substance Use, brought together more than 500 professionals from health, mental health, child welfare, legal, and social service organizations to consider best practices and multidisciplinary approaches for addressing the complex needs of families affected by substance use.

Dr. Spielman and Ms. Sommer presented on the development of Project NESST (Newborns Exposed to Substances: Support and Therapy), a JF&CS program that works with parents, caregivers, and infants to address the impact of substance use and trauma on parents’ mental health, the early parent-child relationship, and infant development. Services are available free of charge to families of all faiths and races in Greater Boston who are caring for infants who were exposed to opiates, cocaine, prescription medications, or other substances that may have contributed to challenges in the infant’s postpartum course or in the parent-infant relationship.

Although concern about substance misuse in pregnancy and infants born substance-exposed has grown considerably in recent years, few programs have been developed that address the complex needs of this vulnerable population. Dr. Spielman and Ms. Sommer’s workshop, titled “Developing a Program for Substance-Exposed Newborns and Their Families: Lessons from Project NESST,” described the process of developing Project NESST from needs assessment to program services, including an interview study undertaken to understand the lived experience and treatment needs faced by mothers of substance-exposed newborns. They also highlighted select findings and traced how lessons learned have informed their understanding of engagement, staffing, reflective supervision, and training.


About Jewish Family & Children’s Service
For 150 years, Jewish Family & Children’s Service has provided exceptional human service and health care programs, guided by Jewish traditions of social responsibility, compassion, and respect for all members of the community. With an integrated network of more than 40 programs serving communities throughout Eastern and Central Massachusetts, JF&CS helps people of all faiths and backgrounds meet life’s challenges. JF&CS programs focus on serving particularly vulnerable populations including children and adults with disabilities or mental illness, new mothers and their infants, seniors living with chronic conditions, and people experiencing financial crisis, hunger, or domestic abuse. Visit www.jfcsboston.org for more information.

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