Addressing Substance-Use Problems in Tribal Home Visiting




Douglas K. Novins, Cathy Ferron, Lisa Abramson, and Allison Barlow

Brief Type

Journal publication


  • Family Spirit
  • Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)
  • Other Models
  • Parents as Teachers (PAT)


Given the high rates for substance use among women and men of childbearing age, perinatal and early childhood home-visiting programs serving tribal communities must consider how they will address substance-use problems among the families they support. In this study, we explored the approaches to identifying and addressing family-based substance-use problems that were implemented by nine home-visiting programs serving American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities that are funded through the federal Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home VisitingProgram (Tribal MIECHV). These programs demonstrated a high awareness of substance-use problems and took concrete action to address them above and beyond that included in the home-visiting model they used. All nine programs reported that they provided substance-use preventive services and screened for substance-use problems. While all programs referred to substance-use treatment programs when needed, in six programs the home visitor provided substance-use services. Through Tribal MIECHV, the intense need for substance-use education, assessment, service delivery, and referral in many AI/AN communities is pushing the home-visiting field forward to address this increasingly critical issue for low-income families across the United States and the world. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Novins, D. K., Ferron, C., Abramson, L., & Barlow, A. (2018). Addressing substance-use problems in tribal home visiting. Infant Mental Health Journal, 39(3), 287-294. doi: 10.1002/imhj.21706

Author Contact Information:
Douglas K. Novins


  • Participant Characteristics
  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes
  • Program Enhancements, Innovations, and Promising Approaches