From NPR –The number of cases of children entering the foster care system due to parental drug use has more than doubled since 2000, according to research published this week in JAMA Pediatrics.
Researchers analyzed data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), a federally mandated data collection system that includes information on children in foster care in the United States.
They looked at nearly 5 million instances of children entering foster care between 2000 and 2017 and analyzed how many times foster children were removed from their homes due to their parents’ drug use each year.
A lot of the work out there [on the opioid epidemic] has focused on mortality and overdoses and how it affects adults,” says Angelica Meinhofer, instructor in health care policy and research at Weill Cornell Medicine. “[It’s] less known how the epidemic might spill over to children. And that’s something I’m trying to shed light on.”
April Dirks, an associate professor of social work at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, says the findings correspond with what she’s seen as a child welfare worker in the Midwest, where parents’ drug use, and the state’s response to it, has torn many families apart. “I’d say it’s a crisis at this point,” she says.
Read the rest of the report here.