The annual report from the Department of Health and Human Services counted 437,500 children in foster care as of Sept. 30, 2016, up from about 427,400 a year earlier.
In 2016, 34 percent of CPS cases where a child was removed from the home was because at least one parent has a substance abuse issue. That 34 percent averages to about 92,000 children.
In 2002, the number of children in foster care was at a peak of 524,000 children. That number steadily decreased to about 397,000 children in 2012. From that year on the number of children in foster care has been back on the rise.
What happened in 2012?
Since 2012, there has been a significant rise in substance abuse.
Many of independent, and government programs have been put in place to decrease the number of children in foster care. The objective of these programs is to help families with children whos caretakers suffer from a mental illness or poverty which is often mistaken for neglect of a child. Today, however, one of the main accounts for these children ending up in the foster system is substance abuse.
More US kids are in foster care and parental drug abuse is a factor.
The opioid epidemic that has taken over the United States is one of the leading causes of addiction. Many Americans start off taking prescription painkillers, which are highly addictive, and as their pain may subside, another illness tends to form. That illness is an addiction.
Numbers don’t lie when it comes to the number of people America has lost due to the opioid epidemic and drug addiction. Numbers like the kids in foster care, living without their parents. The number of Americans, homeless, living on the streets due to the fact that they struggle with substance abuse.
Not only does the addiction affect the addict themselves, it affects the lives of everyone around them.
Substance abuse is affecting America as a whole. The opioid epidemic has been declared a public health emergency by president Donald Trump, and for a good reason. With the hope that shining a light on the negative effects substance abuse has had on American citizens, and the economy, leaning towards a stance of prevention, and not punishment, The President is attempting to put an end to the era of drug use.
As the years go on more and more people are dying from these diseases. It’s a frightening thought that if something is not done to stop substance abuse, these numbers like history has shown, will continue to increase.
How to fix the issue of increasing foster care kids due to parental substance abuse
“Where opioid abuse really is a problem, make high-quality drug treatment, not foster care, the first-choice response,” Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform wrote in a recent blog post. “Take another look at all those other cases that don’t involve drug addiction – such as the ones in which poverty is confused with ‘neglect’ and stop taking away children in those cases.”
The Chronicle of Social Change, a nonprofit publication, recently reported that in at least half of the states, child welfare agencies have not added enough beds in licensed foster homes to keep up with demand.
Of the children in foster care a year ago, about 109,000 were available for adoption.
During fiscal 2016, about 57,000 children were adopted from foster care, up from 54,000 in 2015. About 20,500 youths in their late teens aged out of the system without being placed with permanent families.
Any person can agree that the youth of America is our countries future. However, these kids are being born into and growing up in a world where currently there is an opioid epidemic and many other social issues that need immediate reform and attention.
If you suspect someone you know is abusing drugs, call 1-800-221-4291 or visit us online at www.americandrugtesting.com to schedule a drug test today.