National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

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Raising the bar on collaboration: Meeting the needs of drug endangered children and their families too!

Carpenter, L. – 2011

A presentation on the importance of collaboration in addressing the needs of drug endangered children and their families. Presents data on the scope of the problem and the prevalence of drug endangered children, which includes children living in drug environments as well as prenatal exposure. Summarizes the many negative consequences of different types of drug exposure on children, including prenatal exposure and exposure to parental meth use and manufacture. Lists the risks to children that child welfare professionals should be aware of, such as child neglect, impaired parenting, and violence. Presents data on child welfare involvement and foster care placement related to parental alcohol and drug use. Includes data on the prevalence of child neglect and termination of parental rights caused by substance abuse. Notes that infants in out-of-home care have often been prenatally exposed to drugs or alcohol. Presents statistics on arrests and incarceration involving drugs or alcohol (including those with children involved) and notes the importance of follow-up after first response and arrests. Follow-up interventions should include treatment of parental substance use and mental health disorders, as well as those that address the developmental needs of children. Describes the continuum of family-based support services. Discusses the role of collaboration in addressing substance abuse in child welfare, as well as the importance of timeliness (such as in court proceedings). Lists key elements of effective multi-agency collaboration. Presents examples of promising programs and practices.