In 1997 the North Carolina General Assembly enacted General Statute 108A-29.1, Substance Abuse Treatment Required: Drug Testing for Work First Program Recipients. In 2013 it was revised to Drug screening and testing for Work First Program applicants and recipients. In 1997 General Statute 108A-25, Exemption from limitations for individuals convicted of certain drug-related felonies was also enacted. These two laws are the basis for the current North Carolina Work First/ Child Protective Services (CPS) Substance Use Initiative.
In 2001, the Work First/CPS Substance Abuse Initiative was expanded in two ways. The first allows for voluntary mental health screenings of the Work First applicants and subsequent connection to mental health treatment if indicated. The second expansion allows for Work First/CPS Substance Use Initiative services to the families whose CPS cases have been substantiated or found in need of services with an indication of a substance use disorder. The expansion to include a population who may experience mental health issues as barriers to self-sufficiency and a population whose possible substance use disorder is jeopardizing their family, results in more individuals and families receiving necessary treatment for recovery.
The North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services (DMH/DD/SAS) holds a Memorandum of Agreement with the North Carolina Division of Social Services (DSS) for the joint management of this Initiative. The joint responsibilities include developing and providing training for county DSS's and the LME-MCO’s along with their contracted providers regarding Work First and substance use disorders. Each Division is to provide technical assistance to county DSS's and LME's and providers regarding the program development of the Initiative.
Monitoring of Initiative
Monitoring of the Initiative occurs annually at the state level of both the LME-MCO's management of the Initiative and of the individual cases. The LME-MCO's are responsible for local monitoring of the community providers that have been contracted for the QPSA positions. The LME-MCO is responsible for submitting quarterly reports to DMH/DD/SAS. These reports reflect the numbers of individuals who have had assessments completed, delineated by referral source or cause (Work First, CPS, H or I felon). The number of individuals that a QPSA is coordinating services for, per quarter, is also reflected on this report.
10A North Carolina Administrative Code 27G .0104 STAFF DEFINITIONS
"Qualified professional" means, within the MH/DD/SAS system of care:
(a) an individual who holds a license, provisional license, certificate, registration or permit issued
by the governing board regulating a human service profession, except a registered nurse who is
licensed to practice in the State of North Carolina by the North Carolina Board of Nursing who
also has four years of full-time accumulated experience in MH/DD/SAS with the population
(b) a graduate of a college or university with a Masters degree in a human service field and has
one year of full-time, post-graduate degree accumulated MH/DD/SAS experience with the
population served, or a substance abuse professional who has one year of full-time, post-
graduate degree accumulated supervised experience in alcoholism and drug abuse counseling.
(c) a graduate of a college or university with a bachelor's degree in a human service field and has
two years of full-time, post-bachelor's degree accumulated MH/DD/SAS experience with the
population served, or a substance abuse professional who has two years of full-time, post-
bachelor's degree accumulated supervised experience in alcoholism and drug abuse
(d) a graduate of a college or university with a bachelor's degree in a field other than human
services and has four years of full-time, post-bachelor's degree accumulated MH/DD/SAS
experience with the population served, or a substance abuse professional who has four years
of full-time, post-bachelor's degree accumulated supervised experience in alcoholism and
drug abuse counseling.