We all know far too well the devastating effects of the national opioid crisis, and specifically, the ever-present role of opiate addiction in child welfare. Follow here to read a piece by Nico’Lee Rohac, a foster care alumni and Social Worker, published 9/18/17 by The Chronicle of Social Change.
By all outward appearances, I grew up in a normal American family. My parents had respectable jobs in construction and nursing, a four-bedroom home, family dog and a playhouse my father built from the ground up. My sister and I participated in cheerleading and orchestra, and earned straight As in school.
But my parents struggled with untreated mental health issues — my mother likely had PTSD, while my father struggled with depression. After both my paternal grandparents died (in 1999 and 2003), my parents’ attempts to self-medicate with heroin started to overrule their lives.
That’s a story that millions of families in the U.S. can relate to. Last month, President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. Overdoses kill 142 Americans a day, according to a recent report.
But another result of the current opioid epidemic is that the number of children entering foster care due to parental substance abuse has risen sharply in recent years. Therefore, it is more crucial than ever that child welfare systems focus on keeping families together to prevent unnecessary entry into foster care...