Improving Pregnancy Outcomes Among High-Risk Mothers Who Abuse Alcohol and Drugs: Factors Associated with Subsequent Exposed Births.
Grant, Therese. Graham, J. Christopher. Ernst, Cara C. Peavy, K. Michelle. Brown, Natalie Novick.
Published: November 2014
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 46 , p. 11-18
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Parental alcohol and drug abuse is a factor in approximately 15% of the cases investigated by the child welfare system and in approximately one quarter of cases with substantiated maltreatment. While substance abuse treatment is generally an essential component of child welfare family plans, a relatively low proportion of substance abusing mothers involved in the child welfare system complete treatment, which typically results in placement of their children in substitute care and the beginning of a new generation of adaptive problems. This longitudinal study explores whether loss of an index child due to substance abuse is associated with risk of a subsequent alcohol/drug-exposed birth in a sample of 795 substance-abusing mothers enrolled in the Washington State Parent–Child Assistance Program (PCAP). Results indicate that at program exit, over one-fifth of these women had a subsequent birth (SB) after the birth of their index child. Among these women, over half (i.e., 56.3% or 12.3% of the entire sample) used alcohol and/or drugs during the subsequent pregnancy. Consistent with our main hypothesis, the adjusted odds of having a SB were increased nearly two-fold for women who had the index child removed from their care. Furthermore, among mothers with subsequent births, the adjusted odds of having an exposed SB were increased three-fold if the index child had been removed from the mother's care. We discuss implications of our findings for child welfare policy and practices. (Author abstract)
SUBSTANCE EXPOSED INFANTS; PRENATAL CHILD ABUSE; PRENATAL DRUG EXPOSURE; SUBSTANCE ABUSING MOTHERS; child abuse; REMOVING CHILD FROM HOME; SIBLINGS