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Parental Substance Abuse and the Development of Children in Family Foster Care

by Theresa McNichol, Constance Task
Child Welfare ()

Abstract

To determine the impact of parental substance abuse on children, the cognitive skills and behavior ratings of 268 school-age children placed in family foster care were examined. As a group, the children in family foster care presented with low average cognitive skills and made significant improvement in cognitive functioning during placement. The children with prenatal exposure to drugs scored significantly lower in cognitive skills at the beginning of placement but made significantly more progress than the other children during placement. Behavior ratings by the foster parents and teachers revealed that 29% of the children had scores in the significant range, and the children exposed prenatally to drugs had a higher incidence of behavior problems at school compared to family foster care peers. Recommendations for further study of these factors and for enhancing outcomes for children in care are provided. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Child Welfare is the property of Child Welfare League of America and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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