Substance Abuse


Lisa Ling on The Opioid Crisis within Child Welfare

On this week’s podcast we discuss the potential legislative aftermath of a suicide in a Wisconsin juvenile facility, new Family First Act approvals, and how a rapid home-testing strategy could affect juvenile justice and child welfare systems.



Sunday, 9 p.m. EST: Lisa Ling Explores The Nexus of Heroin and Child Welfare

Ebony Clancy and her daughter, Mercedes. Photo: Robert Palumbo
Ohio spends less on child welfare than any system in the nation. It has also been hit harder than almost any other state by the opioid crisis, which has continued unabated – perhaps worsened by – the coronavirus pandemic.


New York City Moves to Limit Drug Testing of Pregnant Women

New York City moved this week to curb hospital drug testing of new and expecting mothers, a widespread and controversial practice that can lead to newborns being placed in foster care at perhaps the most delicate stage of life.


New York City To Investigate Hospital Drug Tests of Black and Latino New Mothers, Which Can Prompt Foster Care Removals

Credit: Christine Ongjoco
New York City’s Commission on Human Rights has launched an investigation into whether hospitals are targeting Black and Latino pregnant mothers and newborns for drug testing, an inquiry that will assess whether they are being subject to racial bias and discrimination.


New Study Confirms Risk of Prenatal Cannabis Use

A new study on mothers’ use of marijuana during pregnancy found links to a small increase in the child’s risk of developing a range of problems, including psychopathology, low birth weight and sleep problems.


Youth-Oriented Drug-Fighting Grants Up for Grabs in California

When California voters easily approved the adult recreational use of cannabis in 2016, there were what might be called high hopes for the tax revenue, then projected to one day total $1 billion annually.


    UPDATED: North Carolina Get-Tough Bill on Drug Exposed Newborns Passes, But Vetoed by Governor

    Last week, the North Carolina legislature sent a bill to Gov. Roy Cooper (D) that would make it easier and faster to put babies born exposed to drugs and alcohol on a path to adoption, cutting off efforts to return them to their parents.


    Drug Testing the Whole Family

    In the final hour of a daylong Health and Human Services committee meeting for the Texas House of Representatives last November, Sammi Jo Magee took the microphone. Magee, the chief prosecutor in the Child Protective Services division for Taylor County, Texas, which includes Abilene, had been summoned to explain why Taylor and surrounding counties were taking more kids into foster care than any other region in the state.

    Youth Services Insider


    Arkansas Has Been Approved for Family First Act Funding

    The U.S. Children’s Bureau has approved Arkansas’s plan under the Family First Prevention Services Act, which will enable the state to draw down federal funds for services aimed at preventing the use of foster care in certain child welfare cases.