“In 2012, following more than a decade of significant decline, the number of American children in foster care began rising. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of children in foster care nationally has increased by more than 10 percent. There is broad agreement that the ongoing opioid epidemic has been a primary contributor to those increases.
Now, a recent research brief issued by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) should sound alarm bells for child welfare advocates. The impact of the opioid crisis on children and families “has continued to intensify,” according to ASPE. We urgently need a comprehensive federal response.
The brief notes that foster care caseloads are rising, and that the children being served through the child welfare system represent “more complex and severe … cases.” Many are coming from homes where substance abuse is not the only issue. These families “come with a range of interrelated issues and needs,” including “domestic violence, mental illness and long histories of traumatic experiences.”
Source: ChroniclesofSocialChange.org – April 24, 2018