May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, which we know is prevalently an experience of children of those suffering with addiction.
On any given day, more than 400,000 children are in foster care in the US. The number has been rising for years. Heavily affected by the rise in addiction crises in the United States. More children than ever are entering foster care due to parental drug addiction. Since 2000, these cases have more than doubled and in 2017, one in three children in foster care were there due to parent drug use bringing the number to roughly 1,162,668 children.
It is a growing problem. Much of our news coverage regarding the opioid crisis and the epidemic of addiction has focused on those who use the drugs and those who overdose. But, in the wake of this disease are family members, loved ones, and most concerning of all, children.
Children suffer significant trauma when they are taken from their parents. This combined with an overburdened foster care system means the system simply isn’t able to adequately deal with this crisis.
What Are the Solutions to this Problem?
It takes a community effort and better vigilance in preventing problems that lead to neglect and abuse. Experts have recommended sponsored treatment programs become offered at the state and local level to provide addicts with the opportunity to recover from active addiction and care for their children. We hope to see a greater effort to keep families suffering from addiction together and children out of foster care.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, there is no time like now to seek help.