Project Abstract

Substance use during pregnancy is a growing issue that demands data-informed, family-centered solutions. Based on initial study findings from the perinatal substance use data linkage project, opportunities identified from local Colorado practice investments, and national legislation, Plans of Safe Care (POSC) were identified by policy, practitioner, community, and family stakeholders as a lever for improving cross-system care coordination and health outcomes for families impacted by perinatal substance use disorders.

This vision is now moving into execution through a 4-year POSC pilot, resourced by the Colorado Department of Human Services and collaboratively executed through a partnership between the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab, Illuminate Colorado, and the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. The goal of this pilot is to create a data-informed strategic framework for coordinated POSC service delivery and tracking that can be scaled and sustained across Colorado. The focus of the pilot is on defining processes for voluntary initiation and implementation of POSC in community-based spaces and with health and human service providers. Guiding features of the pilot work include: voluntary family engagement in POSC, identifying multiple entry points for POSC initiation, supporting providers that are not specialists in perinatal substance use in POSC development, and creating distinct pathways for notification and reporting to child welfare.

Year 1 is dedicated to pilot planning, and Years 2-4 will be the implementation years. Click on the years below to learn more.

Year 1 will focus on pilot design, including defining the pilot catchment area, developing POSC activation pathways for specialized and non-specialized audiences, articulating the roles and responsibilities of a central support intermediary, and building capacity for implementation and data systems. Stakeholder engagement in the design is a central commitment in Year 1.

  • Timeline: October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023
  • Key Deliverables: (1) Pilot design report, (2) Pilot logic model and data collection plan, and (3) Summary of capacity-building activities

Planned for October 1, 2023 to September 30, 2024.

Planned for October 1, 2024 to September 30, 2025.

Planned for October 1, 2025 to September 30, 2026.


Colorado Department of Human Services

Research Partners: 

University of Denver, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab

Illuminate Colorado

Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect


Perinatal Substance Use Coordinated Care and Support: Plans of Safe Care Pilot



Perinatal Substance Use Coordinated Care and Support: Plans of Safe Care Pilot

Pilot Design Report

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