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Drug Crisis: UNH Study Finds More Children Removed From Parental Care


A new study from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy finds that the number of children removed from parents has increased by 50 percent from 2012 to 2016.

Cases that included a substance use allegation doubled in that time period, from 30 percent to 60 percent.

Kristin Smith is the family demographer at the Carsey School. That removal from parental care can be stressful for children, and those whose parents use substances face challenges. 

Credit Carsey School of Public Policy
From 2012 to 2016, children or youth taken from parental care increased by 50 percent.

"Such children show an increase in emotional and behavioral problems, and difficulty with attachment and establishing trusting relationships," she said. 

But Smith pointed out that, other relatives, like grandparents, are increasingly caring for these kids, and providing the stable, emotional connections they need.

The study also found that parents who are seeking recovery services often face barriers, such as cost of treatment, lack of family paid leave, and the cost of child care.

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