HUS3605 Child Welfare and Family Services

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  • Session on Violence and Addiction: Impact on Children
  • #44583


    Please read the following and post your comments/reflections


    David Coq

    “Children are often the silent victims of substance use.” It is true that the victim of a substance use is the user themselves but needless to say their actions effect deeply those around them. Unfortunately although it is heartbreaking and sad some of the victims of substance use are children themselves. Parental substance use can affect the well-being of children and youth in complex ways. According to Parental Substance Use and the Child Welfare System “approximately 47 States and the District of Columbia have child protection laws that address some aspect of parental substance use” Some Promising Child Welfare Casework Practices for the sole purpose of keeping that family together and taking the monkey off of the substance users back are but not limited to: Family engagement, Routine screening and assessment, Individualized treatment and case plans, Support of parents in treatment and recovery, Providing services for children of parents with substance use issues, Permanency planning. Enhanced collaboration among child welfare, substance abuse treatment, courts, and other systems to provide services to both children and their parents.



    Violence and addiction: Impact on Children: Research shows that Children with parents that abuse alcohol and drugs are mostly likely to experience neglect and abuse at their household. another fact in the article that caught my eye was that 61% infants and 41% of older children in and out of home care are from families with abuse of alcohol and drugs. Another fact in the article is for the parents that are substance use disorder it can affect their ability to function as an effect parenting such as; physical and mental impairment caused by alcohol and drugs, spending limited funds on alcohol and drugs instead of food and household needs, reduce to response on a child needs, difficulties controlling their emotions and anger. Its heart breaking to even see and hear that their are children out there dealing with maltreatment from their very own parents. its hard to hear about this but its very good to know. i just know when i become a parent i will treat my kids and raise them well and love them a much as i can.


    Shanae Clarke

    Parental Substance use and the child welfare system : The article spoke about how many families receiving welfare are families who parents or a parent is using substances such as alcohol and or drugs. Although there aren’t any real study of this it was noted that more and more children who are on public assistance is also in the care of a parent who is a substance abuser. In most cases children who are in homes of parents who uses substances such as drugs and alcohol aren’t normally physically or mentally abused they are more often exposed to malnutrition/ malnourishment since parents in some cases cannot properly provide the proper care a child need as well as a parent that is a substance user might use most if not all their income on the drug of choice. In addition children whom are in families that are with parents who are substance abusers end up with many challenges that would have been easier to combat with parents who weren’t abusing drugs.



    Violence and addiction has a very huge impact on children. Many children who are brought up in homes of violence and addiction suffer from various amounts of trauma, at the hands of their care givers. The problem with addiction is that the parents/ caregivers usually don’t even see the negative results that are happening as a result of their violence and addiction. Children suffer because parents would rather spend their money to feed their addiction instead of ( in most cases) feeding their children. Children get neglected as a result of addiction. If the care giver is high on drugs how could they possibly know that their children need to eat, shower, do homework etc. Children who are raised in households of addicts, are more likely themselves to become addicts later on in their lives. Violence is the same, for children who are raised in households with violence children view it as the norm. The children believe that physical, mental, emotional abuse is okay. Children who witness violence may well in fact become abusers themselves or on the other hand allow themselves to become victims of domestic violence. Things like violence and addiction are real traumas for children to experience. Although some children may persevere, that does not mean the violence and addiction in the household was not harmful to the child.



    Substance Abuse and the Child Welfare System

    This article not only highlights the affects of substance use on children, it also expresses the programs and best practices being put in place to try and help these children and families.
    Substance use usually causes the family and the children to become involved in the Child Welfare system. Due to the neglect of the parent, the continued drug use, and other behaviors associated with substance abuse, children usually end up in the foster care system. This causes families to become separated, and children to experience other issues due to this separation. the article talks about changes in service delivery and coordination of services. Services such as preventive programs that would assist in keeping families together while rehabilitation, such as drug treatment and parenting classes are taking place.


    Linda Henry

    Children are good imitators. They mimic people and things they see and hear. Some children internalize their feelings and carry memories of hurt for many years. Others react instantly with verbal or physical expressions. Either way, children are affected when they see and or experience violence committed on other people or to them.
    If violent behaviors are commonplace in the homes where children live, among the people they love and look up to, it is difficult for them to escape the direct impact to their mental processing. Trauma, fear, mistrust, disbelief, anger, confusion, and isolation, are some of the stressers these children have to deal with on a daily basis. This in turn precipitates deviant behavior. Their actions are no longer role play, but the harsh reality of the negative investments into their young minds.
    It is sad that many of these children are paying with their lives for their parents/guardians who were not responsible enough to say ‘No’ to drugs, alcohol, and violent behaviors. The community and its environment also contribute to way of life. It would take courage, determination, self-love, a great support system, and prayers, to help children from becoming addicts themselves and stop the cycle of violence.



    The article discusses a number of issues centered around parental substance use and children such as the impacts, development, laws, prevention, etc. I believe one of the most damaging factors that comes out of parental substance use is the impact that it has on children. In some cases, parental substance use may result in a harmful environment for the child. Some parents who use substances may abuse their children or negect them. Parents are not aware of how their actions impact their children.



    Parental Substance Abuse: As I read through this document, all I could think was “how could parents be so selfish?”. The moment you deicide to have a child, you should realize that everything you do, will affect that child in one way or another. It does not surprise me to read that the children of substance abusers are mostly affected in a negative manner. While there is a decent system in place to help these families, it will never be enough or perfect – its like a moving target.


    Khoury Archibald

    I feel the drugs have a powerful pull on people. Once they first make the choice to use I try not to judge them personally for their addiction. I think an addiction can not be controlled, so to attack their character doesn’t make much sense. However when the initial bad decision to use affects others, especially kids, then they should face whatever consequences. I think children should be removed from a home where the parents deal with addiction and if the parent can get the help they need they can get their kids back.



    Jennifer Ramos
    There are many people around the world that depend on alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse is a negative way to relieve stress. It is never a good thing to depend on drugs or alcohol, especially when you are a parent. This article talks about how substance abuse affects parents and their children. Alcohol/drugs reduces the capacity to respond to a child’s cues and needs. Not to mention it makes parents do things they wouldn’t do in their right state of mind like abusing their children. I like all the steps that this program is taking to ensure that both parents and children’s needs are met.


    Yessenia bautista

    Parental Substance Use:
    This article reminded me a lot about a substance use course I took over the summer. As mentioned in the article, 12 percent of
    children living in this country are living with parents who depend on drugs. Certain drugs alter the brain and cloud the individuals state of reality. Because of this, children are not getting the support they need from a parent emotionally, physically and mentally. Amongst this population, children living in these households have a higher rate of abuse.

    (I posted this on the previous discussion, didnt realize it wasnt in the correct place)



    Violence and Addiction: Impact on Children:
    As stated in the article, children with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to experience abuse or neglect then children in other households. The impact this has on these children’s lives is devastating. Children are even effected before they are born experiencing prenatal and early childhood development with babies having slowed growth, emotional and behavioral problems as well as being born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) to name a few. 61 percent of infants and 41 percent of older children in out of home care are from families with active alcohol and drug abuse. Those numbers are alarming as well as all the issues stemming from parental substance abuse and the devastation it leaves on the childrens lives. Children are our future and they should not have to suffer due to their parents issues. Parents should be held accountable and kept from destructing their children’s lives by getting the help they need. Some parents start treatment and never complete it. The article also stated that, ” its against the law to use drugs while pregnant and is considered abuse in some states;” this should be the law in all of the states. Some of the parents have mental illnesses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that usually stems from a history of childhood physical and/or sexual assault. They also experience social isolation, poverty unstable housing and domestic violence. Drug and alcohol addiction is serious and the additional issues these parents have also needs to be addressed so that these children can live healthy, happy lives.

    In addition, the article mentioned “the call for a movement toward enhanced collaboration among child welfare, substance abuse treatment, courts and other systems to provide coordinated and comprehensive services to both children and their parents and enhanced linked information systems, will improve the collective ability to track and share the results of collaborative efforts to achieve better outcomes for these families and children.” I think this plan is significant in helping to resolve the negative impact parental violence and addiction has on these children.



    This article provides information about parents and children that are effected by substance abuse. It states that their is a challenge to meet the needs of parents with substance abuse and their children. As you read along, you see examples and strategies for prevention, treatment, intervention, effective programs and practices. Research has been showing us that substance abuse is referred to often in case documentation. Substance abuse is a barrier in healthy parent-child attachment. The child’s life can become unbalanced and instability brings about other problems. Like violence for example. Over the years, new programs have been developed to address substance abuse issues within these families. However, these same programs lack the proper funding.


    Crystal Mordiglia

    Studies from 1999 showed that between one-third and two-thirds of child abuse cases were affected by substance use in some way. More recent studies show that the range may be even larger. An estimate of 12 percent of children in the USA live with a parent who is dependent on or abuses alcohol or other drugs.
    Parental substance abuse is seen as a risk factor for child maltreatment. Research shows that children with parents who abuse alcohol/drugs have a higher chance of being abused or neglected than children in other homes. One study presents parental substance abuse, specifically maternal, as one of five main factors for a report to child protective services for abuse or neglect. Children of parents with substance use dependancies are more likely to be placed in out-of-home care and are also more likely to stay in their placement longer than other children.
    Children and youth of parents who use/abuse substances and have poor parenting skills have an increased chance of experiencing a number of negative outcomes. Some of these outcomes include: depression, anxiety, poor social/cognitave/emotional development, and the development of substance use/abuse themselves.
    Treatment approaches include family-centered services, gender sensitive treatment, mentoring, and early identification of at-risk families.

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