Report Shows Relationship Between Child Neglect, Poverty, and Struggling Caregivers

An issue brief published by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, “Hard Times Made Harder: Struggling Caregivers and Child Neglect,” found that children whose caregivers struggle with drug abuse, mental health problems, alcohol abuse, or struggle to pay for basic necessities were more likely to be placed in out-of-home care.

The brief showed that neglected children from households with caregivers who struggle with drug abuse were three times more likely to be placed in out-of-home care and children who lived with caregivers struggling with alcohol problems, mental health problems, and paying for basic necessities were twice as likely.

In 2008, approximately 267,000 children were removed from their homes as a result of a child maltreatment investigation, and 69% of those children experienced neglect. The brief’s author concludes that “intervention and prevention must not only integrate substance abuse and mental health services but also address the needs and effects of long-term poverty such as apathy, loss of hope, and indifference.”

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Youth Summit in the Allston-Brighton TAB

The Allston-Brighton Task Force on Substance Abuse Youth Summit, held on June 3 at Boston College, was recently featured on the front page of the Allston-Brighton TAB. Check out the story, as well as photos from the event, here!

800 Boston Students Pledge to Make Positive Choices

Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task ForceFor the seventh year running, the Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force is gathering 800 fourth through sixth graders from Boston public schools at a Youth Summit at Boston College. The summit culminates the substance abuse unit in the City Connects-New Balance Foundation health and wellness program, which is conducted by CCNX health coordinators.

The Youth Summit, developed in partnership with the Task Force, CCNX, and the Boston Police Department, aims to arm students with the necessary information and skills that will empower them to make positive choices about drugs and alcohol. The students will hear first-hand about the perils of substance abuse from other youth in recovery and engage in interactive activities to learn more about the effects of drug and alcohol abuse.

According to the Health of Massachusetts report from the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services, alcohol abuse in children and teens is a strong predictor for addiction problems in adulthood. The prevalence rates of alcohol use, binge drinking, and illicit drug use are all higher in Massachusetts than the national average. Learning positive choices early is essential; the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that children who began drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become dependent on alcohol at some point in their lives.

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