More Children Entering Foster Care Due to Opioid Crisis

Drug addiction and drug overdoses due to the opioid crisis is wreaking havoc on families across the country.

As a consequence, there’s an increase in the number of children entering “foster and state care systems” that are already stretched to capacity.

The Hill reports:

The opioid epidemic ravaging states and cities across the country has sent a record number of children into foster and state care systems, taxing limited government resources and testing a system that is already at or near capacity.

An analysis of foster care systems around the country shows the number of children entering state or foster care rising sharply, especially in states hit hardest by opioid addiction. The children entering state care are younger, and they tend to stay in the system longer, than ever before.

The Hill notes an increase of “15 percent to 30 percent in just the last four years” of children entering foster and state care systems and the rapid increase is compounded by children remaining longer in these systems.

“A huge number of children [are] coming into the system now because of parental addiction to opioids that a lot of time has been brought on by pain medication,” Wendi Turner, executive director of the Ohio Family Care Association, told The Hill. “Children that are coming into care are staying in care longer because there’s a higher risk of relapse with their parents. I don’t think our state was prepared for the number of children coming into care so quickly so now we have recruitment efforts going, trying to recruit more parents and also train those parents to handle some of the unique needs of the children.”

“Children that are coming into care are staying in care longer because there’s a higher risk of relapse with their parents,” Turner said. “I don’t think our state was prepared for the number of children coming into care so quickly so now we have recruitment efforts going, trying to recruit more parents and also train those parents to handle some of the unique needs of the children.”

Families across the country, from urban to suburban areas, are significantly affected by the opioid crisis and children of all ages are impacted in more ways than one.

 

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