Report: Parent drug use factor in many child welfare cases

(Photo supplied/Pixabay)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A surging number of child neglect and abuse cases in Indiana involve a parent or caregiver who abuses drugs.

The finding comes from a recent review of Indiana’s troubled Department of Child Services. The review found parental drug abuse was a factor in 55 percent of cases in 2017 where children were removed from their family’s home — up from just 28 percent in 2013.

The opioid epidemic has fueled much of the surge, which DCS has struggled to grapple with.

One suggestion hinted at in the report is easing the state’s punitive approach toward parents who test positive for marijuana if it doesn’t appear to affect their “caregiver ability.”

Another suggestion is to increase access to in-patient drug treatment.

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