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What Impact Is The Opioid Epidemic Having On Foster Care?

Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay http://bit.ly/2NnLaQT

More children are being sent to foster care because of a parent's opioid misuse. 

America's opioid crisis is creating a cycle of hardship for families affected by drug addiction, often involving the foster care and criminal justice systems. 
An estimated 92,000 children were removed from their homes because of a parent's drug abuse, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for fiscal year 2016. 

In another analysis, HHS saw a 10 percent rise in the citing of "parental substance use" as a factor for U.S. foster placements between 2005 and 2015, coinciding with the surge of America's opioid epidemic. 

A parent's pattern of addiction causes traumatic experiences early in life. Some children are even born with a drug dependency. In Bexar County, more babies are delivered with substance-addiction problems than any other county in Texas.

The risk of opioid overdose can put minors in danger, obligating family members and the state to step in despite a lack of resources and readiness.

In what ways can we balance the right to due process, keep families together and prioritize what's best for the kids? Can parents recover their children after a battle with drug abuse? 

What solutions are being proposed locally to protect children from the consequences of the opioid epidemic


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.