“Mothers in Substance Abuse Treatment: Differences in Characteristics Based on Involvement with Child Welfare Services.”

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Ángeles, California, United States
Child Abuse & Neglect (Impact Factor: 2.47). 02/2006; 30(1):55-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2005.07.005
Source: PubMed


Greater awareness of the role of parental substance abuse in child maltreatment makes it imperative that the substance abuse treatment and child welfare systems coordinate services for these parents. Yet little is known about the characteristics of child-welfare involved parents (primarily mothers) who enter into substance abuse treatment. This paper compares the characteristics of mothers in substance abuse treatment who were and were not involved with child welfare services, and discusses the treatment implications of these differences.
Data were obtained from a statewide treatment outcome monitoring project in California. Clients were assessed at treatment admission using the Addiction Severity Index. Bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression were conducted comparing mothers who were (N=1,939) and were not (N=2,217) involved with child welfare.
Mothers who were involved with child welfare were younger, had more children, and had more economic problems. They were more likely to be referred by the criminal justice system or other service providers, to have a history of physical abuse, and to be treated in outpatient programs. They had lower levels of alcohol severity, but did not differ with regard to psychiatric severity or criminal involvement. Primary users of methamphetamine were disproportionately represented among this group and had a distinct profile from primary alcohol- and opiate-users.
Study findings suggest that mothers involved with child welfare enter substance abuse treatment through different avenues and present a clinical profile of treatment needs related to exposure to physical abuse, economic instability, and criminal justice involvement.

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    • "Evaluations of integrated programs suggest positive outcomes for women and children, such as the reduction of substance misuse, improved parenting capacity, better child development outcomes, and improved mental health (Niccols, Dell, et al., 2010; Niccols, Dobbins, et al., 2010). One quantitative study by Grella et al. (2006) exploring the situations of mothers who were in substance misuse treatment and were involved with child welfare services found that those who were able to attend treatment programs with their children and/or retained custody of their children during treatment had higher rates of program retention than those who did not have their children. Methods The project arose from an earlier capacity building project where Aboriginal mothers experiencing substance misuse and child welfare involvement identified the need to better understand the nature and potential to improve their relationships with child welfare and substance misuse treatment agencies. "

    Preview · Article · Jan 2015
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    • "Maternal AUD is a major social and medical concern globally (Grella, Hser & Huang, 2006). Mothers who have an AUD are to a lesser extent able to provide satisfactory shelter, care, and economic stability for their children (Covington, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Societal norms and values take on moral panic and tend to label mothers who drink heavily as 'bad' mothers. This manuscript presents a human scientific approach to access life stories about South African mothers' who had a heavy drinking problem and their barriers to accessing treatment. The data were analysed using the discourse analytic approach while the social constructionist theory was used to frame the research. Findings indicate that besides feeling like bad mothers and being rejected by society because they drink, women internalized a negative gender script that embodied experiences of shame, stigma, guilt and secrecy that contributed to barriers to seeking treatment. Policy suggestions are made to the South African National Department of Health to encourage primary healthcare providers to conduct brief interventions with mothers who have alcohol use disorder to reduce incidence of child maltreatment and fetal alcohol syndrome with the expectation of improving maternal health.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014
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    • "When parents abuse substances, the likelihood that the family will remain involved with the child welfare system increases because the presence of substance abuse impacts the ability of the family to function which in turn impacts parenting ability (Wolock and Magura 1996). Moreover, when a parent abuses a substance, the family is more likely to endure economic difficulties (Grella et al. 2006) which further impedes one's parenting ability. When comorbidity between parental depression and substance abuse exists, parents are more likely to display violent behaviors towards children (Peiponen et al. 2006); thus, parenting ability is diminished and detrimental to the child's functioning (Peiponen et al. 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: This qualitative study explores the perspective of 24 parents who were at risk for having their children placed in foster care but ultimately retained custody of their children. We asked participants to reflect on their parenting needs prior to Child and Protective Services involvement and if and/or how they implemented parent education skills post-intervention. Parents most frequently cited stressors such as financial strain and single parenthood as contributing factors associated with their involvement with the child welfare system. Many parents stated that they wanted help with their parenting practices and provided their thoughts about time-out and physical punishment. Implications include assessing parental stress at the onset of services, seeking to understand the unique needs of families, evaluating the impact of length of time services are offered, and helping parents utilize age-appropriate discipline strategies.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2008 · Clinical Social Work Journal
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