The aim of this study is to better understand perceptions of frontline social service workers who are not addiction specialists but have to address addiction-related issues during their standard services. Six social service organizations implemented a validated alcohol assessment and brief education intervention. After a 3-month trial implementation period, a convenience sample of 64 frontline providers participated in 6 focus groups to examine barriers and facilitators to the implementation of an alcohol screening and brief intervention. Three themes emerged: a) usefulness of the intervention, b) intervention being an appropriate fit with the agency and client population, and c) worker commitment and proper utilization during the implementation process. A cross-cutting theme that emerged was the context in which the intervention was implemented, as this was central to each of the 3 primary themes identified from the focus groups (i.e., the usefulness and appropriateness of the intervention and the implementation process overall). Practitioner buy-in concerns also indicate the need for better addiction service training opportunities for those without addiction-specific educational backgrounds. Future research should assess whether targeted trainings increase addiction screening and education in social services settings.
- brief alcohol screening
- social service worker opinions
- substance abuse
- substance education