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January 20, 2023

Family-centered Practice Recommendations

The Allen County, Indiana, overdose fatality review (OFR) team has found a recurring theme in its recommendations: a need for familial support. In the 3 years since Allen County started its OFR, it has become increasingly evident that mothers and families are struggling with substance use. Many of the deaths occurring are happening within 12 months of giving birth, with children present at the place of death or with children placed in relation or foster care. In light of these findings, Allen County has refined its OFR processes to include ad-hoc members of the OFR team in all meetings; those representatives being those from the Department of Child Services, maternal health providers, grief counselors, and pediatricians, as well as a clinical social worker who specializes in family-centered therapy. With these additional members, the team is able to assess the aspects of familial support that could have made a difference in the case, including individual, family, community, and societal factors. This session will review findings and identified interventions related to building support for families, providers, and systems impacting overdose deaths.

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