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Collaborating with Community Agencies to Support Children of Parents with Substance Use Disorders

U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs – 2020

This brief explains that approximately 8.7 million children in the United States are growing up in homes in which at least one parent reported having a substance use disorder in the past year. It notes children who have a least one parent with a substance-related problem are roughly twice as likely as their non-substance-affected peers to develop their own substance use disorder, are more likely to experience maltreatment, are more likely to be exposed to violence, and face a heightened risk for developing emotional and behavioral issues, performing poorly in school, and experiencing depression or anxiety. The brief then explores ways that schools can engage as partners with justice, public health, and child welfare agencies to address the effects of parental substance use. It discusses factors in cross-agency collaboration, and child welfare system considerations to support children whose parents have substance use disorders. Promising programs are highlighted and links are provided to additional resources highlighting interagency collaboration. 7 references.