Effective Strategies for Courtroom Advocacy on Drug Use and Parenting by Dr. Ron Abrahams and Nancy Rosenbloom

ABA's  SPRING 2019 CONFERENCES COLLECTION 

Parent defenders know the challenges of working with pregnant and parenting women who are involved with the child welfare system because of allegations that they use drugs. The child welfare system can seem stacked against these mothers, often removing their babies and imposing expectations and timeframes that can be difficult to meet before reunification can occur. This article recommends a harm reduction approach to advocating for parents accused of child neglect or abuse related to drug or alcohol use. Parent advocates can use this information to educate judges and child welfare agency professionals about harm reduction strategies, and how they can keep families together while promoting good health care and minimizing court and child welfare agency involvement in families' lives.

 

The Families in Recovery Program

Since its inception in Canada 15 years ago, more than 1,500 women, their babies and families have benefited from the Families in Recovery (FIR) rooming-in program founded by Dr. Abrahams. It is the first combined care maternity unit in North America. The program supports women and their newborns to stabilize and withdraw from substances with the goal of keeping mothers and babies together to improve their health. The fundamental underpinning of FIR is that it is an "apprehension free space" where authorities do not remove children from their parents, and where the staff encourage breastfeeding for mother and baby to bond while supports are put into place for their discharge together from the hospital where they gave birth back into the community. This model has been shown to be cost effective, along with improving health outcomes for both children and mothers. The lessons learned from this work toward ensuring a "healthy sustainable community" provide the basis for this article.

Read the full article<https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_interest/child_law/resources/child_law_practiceonline/january---december-2019/effective-strategies-for-courtroom-advocacy-on-drug-use-and-pare/>

 

 

 

Published in Parents' Attorneys

Opioids Exact Another Toll on Newborns: Smaller Heads

Health Day News - December 10, 2018

Infants born addicted to opioids may be more likely to have smaller heads that might hinder their development, new research suggests.

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2018-12-10/opioids-exact-another-toll-on-newborns-smaller-heads

The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Toolbox offers free interactive planning tools, guides, videos, and other resources to support IECMHC efforts in your state, tribe, or community.

Adults who work with young children can broadly support children’s healthy development, from infancy through the transition to school, by incorporating IECMHC and the resources in the Toolbox into all early childhood programs.

A first-of-its-kind resource for the field of IECMHC, the Toolbox comprises nearly 60 original resources, including PDFs, interactive products, and videos.

The Toolbox offers:

  • Information about the latest research and best practices for IECMHC in infant and early childhood settings where consultation occurs, such as home visiting, early care, and education
  • Resources and strategies on best practices to help fill the gap in areas where additional guidance is needed to advance the field of IECMHC

The contents of the Toolbox will be piloted in 14 states and tribal communities through intensive training and technical assistance provided by the Center of Excellence for IECMHC. The Center will leverage pilot sites’ successes, challenges, and innovations in the coming years to continue moving the field forward. Ultimately, the Center will use the Toolbox to develop products and webinars that share lessons learned and case examples.

 

SAMHSA tools - link to website and multiple tools: https://www.samhsa.gov/iecmhc/toolbox 

Facilitating Cross-System Collaboration: A Primer on Child Welfare, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, and Courts Reviews characteristics of child welfare, substance abuse services, and courts to support cross-system coordination within State, county, and tribal jurisdictions. Considers the framework, population, legislation and funding sources, and services for each system. This report was originally published in 2012, but with the current opioid explosion, it was determined it was a good resource to list again.

http://attcppwtools.org/ResourceMaterials/FCSC_508.pdf

New Study Ranks States on How Well They Help Homeless Students. Where Does Your State Rank?

74 - June 25, 2017

Homeless students have long been considered an invisible population in American education policy discussions, but the new federal education law puts a renewed emphasis on identifying and serving them. In recent years, some states have focused on success for displaced youth. However, huge disparities still exist across the country, according to a new report by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness.

Also: Out of the Shadows: A State-by-State Ranking of Accountability for Homeless Students: http://www.icphusa.org/national/shadows-state-state-ranking-accountability-homeless-students/

https://www.the74million.org/article/new-study-ranks-states-on-how-well-they-help-homeless-students-where-does-your-state-rank

Published in Children's Justice Act

Group Decisions Benefit Kids With Disabilities

Medpage Today - May 29, 2017

Shared decision-making (SDM) involving patients and physicians to develop treatment plans should always be used for children with disabilities, stated a clinical report from the Academy of Pediatrics. The report specifically suggested the practice for children with acquired and developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and those in the state foster care system with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Report: Shared Decision-Making and Children With Disabilities: Pathways to Consensus: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/05/25/peds.2017-0956

http://www.medpagetoday.com/pediatrics/parenting/65628

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 00:00

KIDS COUNT Data Book 2015

The KIDS COUNT Data Book is an annual publication that assesses child well-being nationally and across the 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Using an index of 16 indicators, the report ranks states on overall child well-being and in economic well-being, education, health and family and community.

The 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book focuses on America’s children in the midst of the country's economic recovery. While data show improvements in child health and education, more families are struggling to make ends meet, and a growing number of kids live in high-poverty neighborhoods. In addition to ranking states in several areas of child well-being, the report also examines the influence of parents’ education, health and other life circumstances on their children.

July 21, 2015

Published in Data & Technology

This report begins with a review of federal appropriations activity in FY2015 as it relates to child welfare programs, including the effect of the automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration. The rest of the report provides a short description of each federal child welfare program, including its purpose and recent (FY2012-FY2015) funding levels. Information is provided that indicates final FY2015 child welfare funding ($7.971 billion) was appropriated as part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235). It is explained that beginning with FY2013, some discretionary and mandatory funding amounts appropriated for child welfare programs have been reduced under the sequestration measures provided for in the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25), and that the effect of these sequestration measures varies by fiscal year and type for funding authority. It is determined that for FY2015, funding provided on a discretionary basis in P.L. 113-235 is within the established spending caps and is not expected to be affected by sequestration. The report goes on to explain that the largest amount of federal funding provided to child welfare programs is through mandatory funding authorized under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act and is statutorily exempted from sequestration; however, a few child welfare programs that receive mandatory funding may be subject to sequestration, including funding provided for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program. For nonexempt mandatory child welfare funding, it is reported the final FY2015 funding level must be reduced from the otherwise appropriated levels by 7.3%. 16 tables and 100 references.

Access the full report here.

Raising Children With Special Health Care Needs and the Impact on Family Health. 
Health impacts all aspects of life. When one member of the family has health needs, such as those determined.Health impacts all aspects of life. When one member of the family has health needs, such as those experienced by children with special health care needs (CSHCN), the entire family is impacted. In this paper, families describe some of the daily struggles and obstacles that they have learned to adjust to and overcome. The following stories are from families in Kansas who hope to shed light on the many impacts raising CSHCN has on the family, including parental or caregiver physical and emotional health, impact on the siblings' life, and the importance of building a support network. 

Click here to read more.