Drugs Impacting the Foster Care System
States continue to struggle with the number of foster children in care because of drugs. In Nebraska nearly 2 out of 5 foster children in foster care are there because their biological parents are addicted to methamphetamine. In Georgetown, Texas CPS says that more than half of foster children are in care due to drug and alcohol problems. Drug abuse (“meth” being the prevalent one) has caused eighty percent of foster children to come into care in Idaho. Oregon is facing ninety percent of foster children in care because of their biological parent’s drug abuse. In Payson, Arizona of 2007 ninety-five percent of the foster children were in care due to “meth”. What devastating numbers.
These children are greatly being affected by the choice of their parents doing drugs. More babies are being born exposed and even addicted to drugs leaving them a lifetime of paying the price for someone else’s choices. An infant in Arizona was born with a leg backwards and some internal organs out of the body. These infants can face neurological issues, learning disabilities, and some with very serious lifetime issues. Traditional medications used with different disabilities and other issues may not work with these children. Nobody can say what or how severe the effects of drugs especially “meth” will have on a baby in utero.
Even young children are coming into foster care with “meth” in the system. In Texas three young children (ages: 1, 2, and 3) were placed in foster care after testing positive for “meth”. I fostered a two year old and a newborn, both of them had drugs in their systems. When children living in an area where “meth” is being cooked or used, are at risk of being exposed to the drug themselves since the powder like residue is everywhere. Testing of a foster child’s hair can also be done if there is reason to believe that their exposure of “meth” has been happening over a period of time.