State-Level Policy Advocacy for Children Affected by Parental Substance Use_Page_01More than 8.3 million children, or 11 percent of all children in the United States, live in homes where at least one parent or caretaker has a substance use disorder involving alcohol and other drugs. Parental substance abuse places the family at an increased risk of child abuse, neglect, and trauma. Most of these children are not identified by child-serving agencies.

This SPARC brief, authored by Sid Gardner from Children and Family Futures, provides compelling data to demonstrate that alcohol and drug use is a key factor in a high percentage of child welfare involved families, outlines eight barriers to taking substance abuse seriously in the child welfare system, summarizes five levers for advocates aiming at going beyond pilot projects to systems change and highlights policy and practice innovations that advocates can promote.

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