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Opioids: The Child Separation Crisis No One is Talking About

Opioids: The Child Separation Crisis No One is Talking About

“populations of children in foster or state care has risen by 15 percent to 30 percent in just the last four years”

While Democrats and the media dial their outrage up to ten about the children of illegal immigrants, another crisis is continuing to unfold which affects thousands of American kids. The opioid crisis is still happening, and separates children from their parents – sometimes permanently.

Emily Birnbaum and Maya Lora of The Hill report that foster care systems in the United States are overwhelmed:

Opioid crisis sending thousands of children into foster care

The opioid epidemic ravaging states and cities across the country has sent a record number of children into foster and state care systems, taxing limited government resources and testing a system that is already at or near capacity.

An analysis of foster care systems around the country shows the number of children entering state or foster care rising sharply, especially in states hit hardest by opioid addiction. The children entering state care are younger, and they tend to stay in the system longer, than ever before.

Among states hardest hit by the epidemic, the populations of children in foster or state care has risen by 15 percent to 30 percent in just the last four years, The Hill’s analysis shows. In other states, the number of children referred to child welfare programs has ballooned, even if those kids do not end up in foster care.

“A huge number of children [are] coming into the system now because of parental addiction to opioids that a lot of time has been brought on by pain medication,” said Wendi Turner, executive director of the Ohio Family Care Association.

The report goes on to state that the number of kids in foster care was declining up until 2010, when the numbers began to spike again, largely due to opioid related deaths.

The crisis is also putting a strain on schools. Kimberly Hefling reports at Politico:

Cash-strapped schools struggle to help children of opioid epidemic

The nation’s schools increasingly must tend to yet another crisis produced by the opioid epidemic: the trauma inflicted on the children of drug abusers.

Teachers console children whose parents have died, gone to jail or disappeared as foster care rates increase, often resulting from drug abuse. Sleep-deprived youngsters come to school hungry and dirty, describing drug busts in their homes. Sometimes, the abusers are the students themselves. Overloaded school counselors struggle to assist hundreds of kids and parents.

America’s biggest public health crisis since AIDS has seeped into cash-strapped schools, placing educators on the silent front lines of the epidemic at a time when many already feel overtaxed as a result of budget cuts and chronic shortages of school counselors, psychologists and social workers.

This video report from the Wall Street Journal was produced in 2016 but is still just as powerful today:

While all decent people want humane treatment for the innocent children of illegal immigrants, we should not forget that thousands of American children are also in a crisis that gets barely as much attention.

Featured image via YouTube.


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Close The Fed | June 21, 2018 at 8:34 pm

I have a customer who runs a daycare. She says she has many, many children being raised by their grandparents now, because the parents are addicts. Very sad.

Is it opioids or is that a symptom of how the young adults and parents have been taught in our schools, which has them needing escapes from reality because it looks nothing like the utopia they were promised from a young age.

Our society is being pushed to be more disconnected with family, or tradition family, sexuality is now some blurred mess as are traditional family roles. Parents aren’t as involved with raising their children, they hand them off to day care, hand them off to school, hand them off to others who volunteer (which is another area being hit hard by the disconnect in our society)to work with kids in sports or activities such as Scouting.

When you find you are pretty much forced to be a working mom and dad, not as much economically, though that is part of it, but society has placed stay at home moms and dads as lesser people. When you are more of a part time parent because you are too busy with career and your own pursuits of happiness, and expressing your freedom from responsibility (after all it takes a village) and fear of actually feeling and being engaged. How do you not find emptiness and a sense of lost fulfillment in life?

Such is “Progress”.

I am approaching 70 and my wife is just 8 years behind. We adopted and fostered because we knew kids (step-grandkids and otherwise) whose parents were worthless derelicts (at least at the time) and we figured it was something we should do.

Subsequently we got custody of 2 grandkids whose “parents” are heroin addicts and/or law-breaking sluts.

So it goes. I am a little resentful in case this doesn’t come across.


This has been one of the things that has been annoying me so significantly about the whole “children ripped from the [Illegal Immigrant]’s Arms” narrative. It UTTERLY ignores what happens when there is a Child Protective Services Case in EVERY OTHER SITUATION.

In my private practice, I DO Child Protective Services representation of Parents. I formerly did Child Protective Services representation of Children as an appointed Attorney-ad-Litem. I was formerly a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children (CASA).

The “ripping of children from their parents” is no different in the immigration context than it is for ANY OTHER CRIMINAL ACT.

I have a case that I’m fighting right now, where Mom has a Meth problem, CPS came in, yanked the kids, and they’ve now been in foster care for almost a year due to Mom’s illegal conduct. Mom requested time and again, to have the children placed with her at some sort of in-patient lockdown facility, which has been denied, because CPS wants to do a termination and adoption by the Foster family.

American Human | June 22, 2018 at 7:58 am

I’d say that the liberals and democrats don’t care about American children taken from their families but, then, they don’t really care about illegal immigrant children either, only power.

Come to think of it, that is all anyone in Congress/DC/Staff care about whether “D” or “R”.

Albigensian | June 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

Having fostered a teen boy, I’d have to say that the state is not a very good parent. This guy turned out OK, but as far as the state’s oversight was concerned, well, it consisted of a few mailed questions as to how the state’s ward was doing. He could have run away or gotten into all sorts of heavy-duty trouble and I doubt the state would have known or cared or bothered to do much of anything about it.

That and, truly, many foster parents do not seem to understand that they can’t treat their foster kids like trash and then expect good behavior. For the state isn’t very choosy when it comes to foster parents because it can’t afford to be, because demand is far greater than supply and because alternatives to foster care are far more costly.

Overall we found the experience rewarding, but then we were probably lucky in that ‘our’ foster son was not particularly difficult (as compared with the overall universe of adolescents, anyway) even though the experiences that lead to his being fostered could not have been easy to deal with.

So, anyway, perhaps readers here might consider if this is something they could and might wish to do. For given the social realities where stable families are becoming ever more rare (as well as the scourge of opiates) and the chaos in which many children are raised, plus the reality that state a never be much of a parent, the need for foster care will surely continue to outstrip supply and the state will take pretty much whatever it can get.

And, perhaps you’ll find the experience rewarding.

    franker in reply to Albigensian. | June 22, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Our experience was quite different.

    We got into Foster Care and did the classes and the background checks because a Toddler of a Friend was going into State Care and we wanted to help. (Unfortunately that Toddler is now 23 and we can’t seem to get her out of the house to begin her Life’s Work but I guess that is another issue).

    So, anyway, since we were in The System we fostered quite a few more and ended up adopting 2 girls because the State asked and we said “sure”.

    Anyway, we have never had any problem with the way The State has handled any of this although, being Bureaucrats, they do what they do.

    If you got 20 Gazillion South Americans overloading the system it will not work and will be overwhelmed.

    As will ERs, Public Schools and the rest of the stuff that we tax payers pay for.

    So it goes.

Uh, welcome to Baltimore 1995. BTW, the average Baltimore grandmother is around 35, and I’ve seen newspaper articles with great-grandmothers in their mid 40’s. The cycle of life there starts at 13-15. The Wire was a documentary.

Liberals love drugs and drug addiction. And, they always have. They paint drug abusers as poor, helpless victims who can only be pitied. They have fought to legalize even the most addictive drugs and, in the meantime, to reduce penalties for using drugs to the point where use of these products is now permissible. Add to that the disdain that the elite has for anyone else and drug profits and the stupification of the masses are both seen as advantages for them.

It is not that no one cares about opioid addiction. It is that no one is willing to do anything about it. We are a society which traditionally uses drugs to make ourselves feel better. And, few people are willing to forego their own means of chemically altering their perception of reality.