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Child Well-Being in Minnesota: Substance Abuse Treatment Among Minnesota Youth in Foster Care: Implications for Policymakers

University of Minnesota Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare – 2014

This brief explores a Minnesota policy approach to ensure that child welfare-involved adolescents and transitional-age youth are receiving the substance abuse treatment and support they need. It begins by discussing the prevalence of families in the child welfare system that are affected by substance use disorder (SUD), and child welfare youth and substance use in Minnesota. It notes that in 2012, 11,453 Minnesota youth spent some time in out-of- home care, approximately 39% of these youth were between 13 and 17 years of age and 13% were age 18 or older, the median length of stay for Minnesota youth in 2011 was approximately 8 months, and Minnesota has one of the highest foster care re-entry rates in the nation and ranks in the bottom half of all States in terms of providing substance abuse treatment for those in need of it. The brief then presents three policy issues related to child welfare and SUD and discusses policy solutions for each issue. The three issues include: coordination between agencies; transition planning; and continuity of care. A list of additional resources is included. 23 references.