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Supporting Families Project

Funding for the project is provided in full by the University of Baltimore/High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)/Office for National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)

Official Project Title:

Developing Local Infrastructure to Address the Significant Needs of Caregivers with

Opioid Addiction and Their Children

Award: $300,295   December 1, 2019 - August 31, 2021

Opportunities to strengthen resilience in the face of adversity start in infancy and continue well into adolescence. Healthy relationships, particularly with caregivers, influence development of the brain all along the way to support overall health and well-being.

Mother and Baby on Floor

This webinar presented by the NPSC discusses the prevalence of children impacted by caregivers with addiction, the effects of adversity on the brain and body, and the promise for healthy development with targeted intervention.

A Path Forward for Children of Parents Struggling with Addiction
Play Video

Implementation of this project involves four components:

1.  Educate professionals in Triangle agencies and organizations who provide services to families impacted by substance misuse regarding the developmental impacts of ACEs, underscoring the need for evidence-based parenting supports for caregivers with addiction to improve outcomes for both children and caregivers.

2.  Administer an immersive certified course to professionals working with these families regarding these impacts and the importance of providing evidence-based programs in the community.

3.  Establish a referral pipeline for caregivers from the courts and other points of contact to Triple P, a strong, evidence-based parenting program.


4.  Receive ongoing feedback from professionals on our Advisory Committee regarding the accessibility, acceptability and feasibility of the referral pipeline.

Supporting Families: Educational Components 1 & 2

We have identified deeply engaging and informative videos that clinicians, practitioners, educators, and parents can view to learn more about the adverse effects of trauma on brain development and the benefits of intervention for children/adolescents that have been affected by substance use. In under 2 hours, learn the science of early childhood development and play an important role in constructing children’s brains for optimal health and well-being.

~  How brain development unfolds and how early experiences affect this process
How interactions between adults and children form and strengthen neural connections
How toxic stress responses can negatively impact a child’s ability to learn
2 contact hours (for professionals)
~ A certificate
To qualify: You must be a professional
who works with families with SUD
To qualify: You must be a parent who has issues
with substance use

Do you want to learn more AND earn CEU's?

The Brain Story Certification course is offered through this project for professionals working with families affected by caregiver addiction. It provides a deep understanding of brain development, how it is impacted by adversity, and the importance of early intervention in significantly improving outcomes for children at risk. Developed by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative and the Harvard Center of the Developing Child, the self-paced online 22 hour course is free and open to the public. The North Carolina Area Health Education Center (AHEC) has certified the course and will provide contact hours and CEUs for professionals who complete it.  We ask participants to complete a survey before and after the course to evaluate its effectiveness. For further information, contact Jessica Stavig (

If you know someone who would be interested in either of the educational components, please share our flyers.

Flyer for Professionals who want to receive contact hours/ CEU's

Flyer for Parents

Supporting Families: Component 3

Our Supporting Families Project provides evidence-based family programming to children impacted by caregiver addiction, with the goal to avert pathways away from substance use and improve overall outcomes in the children, while reinforcing recovery in caregivers. We are accepting referrals from treatment facilities, the courts, CPS, community organizations, primary care and other points of contact for these families across North Carolina.  This program is provided in an on-line platform.

What is Triple P Positive Parenting Program?

Strengths Based Intervention

Reduces Child Maltreatment, Out of Home Placements and Hospitalizations

Improves Parenting and Family Management

Give Parents Tools to Manage Child Behaviors

Builds a Positive Relationship between Child and Parent(s)

Improves the Relationships between caregivers

Improves Parent Confidence and Competence

Make a Referral

Call: Uzma 919-364-3556


Triple P Benefits Include:

Impact in Childhood

  • Fewer behavior and emotional problems

  • Better emotion regulation

  • Increased school readiness

Impact in Adolescence

  • Less drug use

  • Less antisocial behavior

  • Less bullying in school

  • Less depression

Impact for Caregivers

  • Less stressed

  • Less  depressed

  • Less conflict with their partners over parenting issues

For more information about this project, contact the project investigators:
Diana Fishbein, President and Co-Director of the NPSC; Director of Translational NeuroPrevention Research, UNC, Senior Research Faculty; PSU
Sharon Kingston, Secretary of the NPSC, Associate Professor of Psychology, Dickinson College

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