Title

Understanding the Role of Parental Opiate or Marijuana Use in Child Welfare Substantiation Decisions

Publication Date

7-3-2019

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions

Volume

19

Issue

3

DOI

10.1080/1533256X.2019.1641675

First Page

238

Last Page

261

Abstract

Parental drug misuse is a risk factor that child welfare workers must consider during investigations of alleged maltreatment. Little is known, however about how workers view substance use, particularly for substances like marijuana and prescription opioids which are used legally in some circumstances but not in others. Qualitative data from a mixed-methods web-based survey of 562 workers in child welfare-related fields were used to examine the ways in which parental substance use influenced decision-making. Findings suggest that the legality of the substance, how the substance is used around children, and the nexus between substance use and parenting were influential in caseworker decisions, which can inform future educational and policy efforts.

Keywords

child welfare, decision-making, marijuana, opiate, qualitative, substance use

Department

Social Work

COinS