Child Welfare and Treatment Statistics
In the past three decades, the United States has experienced at least three major shifts in substances of abuse that have had dramatic effects on children and families. However, the increase of opioid misuse has been described by long-time child welfare professionals as having the worst effects on child welfare systems that they have seen. Studies indicate that there is substantial overlap between parents involved in the child welfare and substance use treatment systems. However, identifying these families is difficult, as neither child welfare or substance use treatment are required to capture the data elements necessary to identify families in both systems. The following graphs present current statistics on this issue.
* Percentages are applied to the almost 4 million infants born in 2014.
** This includes nine categories of illicit drug use: use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants, as well as the non-medical use of prescription-type pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives (Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014). Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH, Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2000-2016). The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Data Set.
- National Vital Statistics Report, 2014