Indiana’s foster care swells with children displaced by opioid epidemic

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("Shooting Heroin 1" by Vito Fun, CC BY 2.0)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The number of foster care cases related to drugs is ballooning as use of heroin and other opioids soars across the U.S.

New foster cases involving parents who are using drugs have hit the highest point in more than three decades of record-keeping. New federal statistics show some 92,000 children entered foster care last year due to a parent’s drug use.

Authorities have recorded a 32 percent spike in drug-related cases from 2012 through 2016.

It’s been such a dramatic shift that it reversed a trend that had the foster care system shrinking in size over the preceding decade.

Indiana is among the states with the biggest one-year increase in its foster care population, and judges and social workers there have been struggling to keep up with the onslaught.

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