Document Detail

Child protection outcomes for infants of substance-using mothers: a matched-cohort study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19564311     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Parental drug use is a critical public health issue; it is estimated to be present in up to 80% of referrals to Australian child protection agencies. However, no data regarding the child protection outcomes of infants of substance-using parents exist in Australia, and no comparisons have been made with infants of non-substance-using parents. We assessed differences in substantiated abuse between 2 groups of mothers in Brisbane to quantify this risk. METHODS: Mothers who disclosed opiate, amphetamine, or methadone use between 2000 and 2003 were identified and compared with non-substance-using mothers who were matched for gender and gestational age. All infants were linked to the Department of Child Safety Child Protection Information System database. Child protection outcomes, such as substantiated notifications and entry into foster care, were compared between groups. RESULTS: We studied 119 infants of substance-using mothers and 238 matched infants. Infants of substance-using mothers were more likely to suffer substantiated harm (hazard ratio 13.3 [95% confidence interval 4.6-38.3]) and to enter foster care (hazard ratio 13.3 [95% confidence interval 5.1-34.3]). Infants of mothers using illicit drugs were more likely to suffer substantiated harm and more likely to enter foster care than infants of mothers who were compliant with a methadone program. CONCLUSIONS: Infants of substance-using mothers have much poorer child protection outcomes than infants of non-substance-using mothers. This study adds substantial evidence toward a real association between maternal drug use and child abuse. Greater interagency collaboration is urgently required to reduce this risk.
Andrea McGlade; Robert Ware; Maree Crawford
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatrics     Volume:  124     ISSN:  1098-4275     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatrics     Publication Date:  2009 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-30     Completed Date:  2009-09-22     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376422     Medline TA:  Pediatrics     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  285-93     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Child Advocacy Service, Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Child Welfare*
Follow-Up Studies
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
Substance-Related Disorders*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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