Treatment for pregnant women and for women with dependent children is funded through the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. Women’s treatment is prioritized by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment because of the impact that treatment and recovery have not only on the woman herself, but also her family, her children and future generations. This is the reason for the public dollars known as the “women’s set-aside” or here in Colorado as Specialized Women’s Services (SWS). Each Managed Service Organization (MSO) is allotted by DBH a certain amount of SWS money to be spent on women’s treatment, as required by the terms of the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.
Services for Medicaid-eligible pregnant women are delivered through the Special Connections program, which is managed by DBH in cooperation with the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. There are currently eight different Special Connections programs contracted with DBH to deliver this service. Services include individual and group therapy, health education classes pertaining to pregnancy, initial risk assessment, and case management to assist in coordinating the delivery of these services as well as others paid for by other funding sources. Special Connections providers have established long-standing relationships with other community service providers, and draw on these resources when other needs become apparent. Special Connections also funds residential treatment at three Colorado locations for pregnant women whose treatment needs are complex enough that they cannot be safely treated in outpatient treatment. The length of the Special Connections program is different for each woman, depending upon her treatment needs and progress. Assuming continued Medicaid eligibility, Special Connections services can be delivered for up to a year post-partum.
Women’s treatment services are also funded, for those women whose families are involved with the Child Welfare system, by Core Services dollars (section 7.303). This pot of money is administered exclusively through the child welfare system, and is spent upon the authority of the local county department of social/human services, for the county in which the woman resides.
DBH’s funding stream set aside to treat clients who are seen through the MSO system and who have open child welfare cases is known as Additional Family Services (AFS) dollars. AFS moneys are contracted to the MSOs to be administered according to the needs of each SSPA, and are available on a contractual basis to treat clients of any county that contracts with the local MSO for Core funds to treat Child Welfare clients. This system is designed to afford counties and providers as much local control and flexibility as possible while remaining responsible for their respective funding streams.