More kids taken from addicted parents

An increasing number of children are being removed from parents accused of using drugs in the Greater Cincinnati area.

There has been a 78 percent rise in two years of children taken from parents in Clermont County because of abuse or neglect, up from 132 in 2008 to 235 last year, said Tim Dick, deputy director of Clermont County Children’s Protective Services.

About 41 percent of last year’s cases involved drug abuse by parents. Of those 97 cases, 71 involved opiates such as heroin, Dick said. Marijuana was the second-most problematic drug. “Four years ago, cocaine was the drug of choice,” Dick said. “Opiates have overtaken that. Heroin is cheap, and it’s readily available.”

In Butler County, the number of children removed because of drug or alcohol abuse by a parent increased by 68 percent in two years, said Jeff Centers, director of Children Services. Last year, 264 kids were removed for such reasons, up from 219 in 2009 and 157 the year before.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that heroin is the most widely abused substance” in the Butler County cases, Centers said. “The second most abused drug is prescription medication.”

Hamilton County saw an 11 percent increase last year in the removal of children because of the drug-related activity of parents, with cases rising to 145 from 131 in 2009.

Drugs or alcohol were cited in about 19 percent of all cases in which children were removed, but “that number is really much higher,” said Brian Gregg, spokesman for the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services.

“We have about 850 foster children on any given day,” Gregg said. Sometimes, “we remove a kid because a mom is abusing him – and only after we begin work with the mom do we realize she has substance-abuse issues. … Anecdotally, it seems like the majority of our cases involve drug or alcohol abuse, and those cases seem to be on the rise.”

2 Responses to “More kids taken from addicted parents”

    Children should not be at risk of suffering illness or being abused due to alcohol related behaviors. Clearly, children are beginners who are learning and taking what they hear, see, and are exposed to in their environments. Now, it is common for them to act in an undesirable way due to the weight or struggle of the circumstances that their family may have to face, but disciplinary actions should not occur without fully understanding why the child is responding in that specific manner. If fact their undesirable behavior may be a cry for help. The first step should be to observe and confront the parents, check to see if the child is being abused, and take immediate actions once evidence has been found. If a parent is found guilty of abusing their child due to alcohol or drug related issues, they should immediately be sent to jail. In addition if a parent is found drinking while pregnant or causing harm in other ways, the should also be prosecuted as well. They are putting their child at risk of suffering preventable health issues. Yes, the child is unborn, but there at risk as it is the same with those who exist. Any cases of issues that has caused harm to children should relate in the parent(s) being prosecuted and punished accordingly.

  2. kstrom says:

    We appreciate your comments and hope other readers benefit from your response.

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