With over 1.5 million reports of child maltreatment assessed by child protective services (CPS) in 2010 and up to 80% of child welfare families experiencing substance abuse by a caregiver, it is imperative that we fully understand the extensive relationship between caregiver substance abuse and children experiencing harm in order to develop effective interventions targeted to address both substance abuse and child maltreatment in caregivers involved with the child welfare system.1,2 Through the use of secondary data analysis, this proposal aims to deepen our understanding of the relationship between caregiver substance abuse and harm to children within the child welfare system. Using the child welfare goals of safety, permanency, and well-being, child harm will be operationalized as CPS referrals for services and subsequent reports of maltreatment (safety), having children removed from the home (permanency), and children experiencing depression, trauma, emotional problems, or behavior problems (well-being).4 Secondary data analysis will utilize data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being II (NSCAW II), a landmark, longitudinal national probability study of children and families investigated for child maltreatment, in order to examine the direct and indirect relationships from caregiver substance abuse to safety, permanency, and well-being indicators of child harm.6 In addition to conducting research, the proposed training plan will strengthen the fellowship applicant's research skills in the areas of advanced statistical methods, knowledge of drug and alcohol nosology, epidemiology, and comorbidity, provide mentorship in substance abuse and child welfare policy, practice, and research, and enhance her skills in scholarly writing and dissemination. Building upon the skills gained as a NIDA predoctoral fellow (T32), this research and training plan will prepare the applicant for her future goal of developing an effective substance abuse intervention for caregivers involved with CPS.

Public Health Relevance

Children from families where substance abuse disorders are present are more likely to be placed in foster care and are more likely to experience lower academic achievement, truancy, suicidal involvement, teenage pregnancy, adolescent alcohol and drug use, and eating disorders.7,11-12 Caregiver substance abuse is extremely problematic in the child welfare system and has been shown to contribute to maltreatment in one- to two- thirds of child welfare cases.7 With over 1.5 million reports of child maltreatment assessed by child protective services (CPS) in 2010 and up to 80% of child welfare families experiencing substance abuse by a caregiver, it is imperative that we fully understand the extensive relationship between caregiver substance abuse and children experiencing harm in order to develop effective interventions targeted towards the specific needs of these families.1,2

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Type
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
Project #
1F31DA034442-01A1
Application #
8525926
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F16-L (20))
Program Officer
Weinberg, Naimah Z
Project Start
2013-11-06
Project End
Budget Start
2013-11-06
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$27,186
Indirect Cost
Name
Washington University
Department
None
Type
Schools of Social Work
DUNS #
068552207
City
Saint Louis
State
MO
Country
United States
Zip Code
63130