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Soc Work. 1996 Mar;41(2):214-23.

Mothers in recovery: rebuilding families in the aftermath of addiction.

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School of Social Work, New York University, NY 10003, USA.


In the mid-1980s maternal substance abuse in the United States increased dramatically, resulting in significant increases in the foster care caseload. Moreover, because of systemic inequities children of poor women of color experienced increased risk of foster care placement. Partly in response to court decisions legitimating mothers' rights to rehabilitation and family preservation services and the increased costs of providing foster care services, New York City implemented the Family Rehabilitation Program as an alternative to placement. This article reports the findings of a qualitative, exploratory study that examined outcomes for 20 women who had successfully completed the program and identifies client characteristics associated with successful drug rehabilitation and practice interventions that support retention in drug treatment. Implications for the redirection of policy and practice to focus on prevention and family preservation for this underserved population are discussed.

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