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Child Welfare. 2011;90(3):45-68.

What do we know about drug-endangered children when they are first placed into care?

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Spokane County Superior Court, USA.


Although the methamphetamine epidemic in the United States has caught the attention of law enforcement and the media, the needs of the children living in so-called "meth homes" have not yet been addressed. These children are endangered from not only the chemicals involved, but also parental abuse and/or neglect. Little is known, however, about how drug-endangered children are faring. This article summarizes the levels of health and well-being of drug-endangered children at the time they were removed from meth homes. Differences between children whose parents use meth and whose parents use other drugs are noted. Overall, the subjects are a highly traumatized, troubled, developmentally delayed group of very young children.

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