Amid Drug Crisis, DCYF Creates New Policies Aimed At Protecting At-Risk Babies
New Hampshire's child protection agency is responding to the state's drug crisis with new policies requiring greater intervention when infants and toddlers are at risk.
The number of New Hampshire babies born exposed to drugs has increased significantly in the last few years, averaging about one every 17 hours in 2015. The Department of Children, Youth and Families also is investigating more cases in which allegations of child abuse and neglect include substance misuse as a factor.
Under the new policies, the division will require at least four face-to-face visits in cases involving substance-exposed infants and at least three face-to-face visits when there are allegations that an infant or toddler has been abused or neglected due to a caregiver's substance use.