Foster care numbers increase when child custody is terminated

Statistics show the number of children entering foster care across the country had been on the decline for almost a decade, but recent statistics from 2012 to 2016 show 36 states with a 10 percent increase. Georgia and other states credit the opioid epidemic with a parent's child custody rights being terminated. Substance abuse in a home with children is considered child abuse in many states.

Recent increases have caused state governments to reconsider removing children from households while parents are being treated for substance abuse. Some states have programs in place that allow children to be cared for by relatives or by having the child stay with a parent during treatment. It is hoped that keeping children together with their parents will reduce the trauma to the child and encourage parents to complete treatment.

Studies show that children will thrive when they are with family, and many states are on board with reducing the amount of trauma to children. They theorize that parents may be more willing to seek treatment and complete recovery programs if their family is intact. Many states want to reduce the stigma attached by educating the public on opioid addiction and recovery.

The opioid epidemic is an ongoing battle across the country and touches everyone, especially children. Families in Georgia who are concerned about a family member or a child who may be in harm's way can contact an attorney experienced in child custody issues. A lawyer can assess the situation and determine what approach is in the best interest of the child.

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