Over the past three years, there has been a nationwide increase in the number of children being placed in foster care, according to federal records. Today's numbers have several moving parts, as the federal data suggests that more kids are staying in foster care for longer periods of time. Other children may be in foster care for a short period, but reentering at a later date.
The data says that total number of children in foster care has risen for three consecutive years. However, the acting secretary of the Administration on Children and Families, Mark Greenberg, says that fewer kids today are in foster care than the numbers recorded a decade ago, according to The Chronicle of Social Change.
Substance Abuse Is A Large Factor In The Current Trend
Commentators and authorities believe that a strong contributing factor to the current increase in Child in Need of Protection and Services (CHIPS) proceedings is tied to allegations of substance abuse. In Minnesota, county officials may step in and seek to remove a child from the home if a parent is suspected of neglect due to chemical abuse. It is important to note, that parents and foster care providers need an attorney in these matters, due to the harsh consequences that can result from a CHIPS hearing.
Congressional Efforts To Provide Money For Treatment Have Stalled
The welfare of children related to substance abuse issues has been on the radar of federal lawmakers. The United States House of Representatives recently passed The Family First Preservation Services Act, which was aimed at providing funding for parents to obtain rehabilitation services for chemical abuse to help avoid out-of-home placement of a child. The bill, however, stalled in the Senate.
The federal report indicates that 30 states have seen an increase in child welfare proceedings during the recent uptick. Minnesota ranks in the top five states that have stepped up CHIPS proceedings leading to removal of children from the parental home.
A parent facing any level of an investigation from a county Child Protection Services agency should seek the guidance and assistance of an experienced CHIPS defense lawyer. When drugs are included in the government's suspicions, the potential for criminal charges in addition to a CHIPS process is an additional concern. A skilled defense lawyer can help you to protect your individual and parental rights at every stage of the process.