Officials in states hit hard by heroin use, such as Ohio, say the drug is a major reason for the increasing number of children being placed in foster care.
“What we’re finding more and more is that the parents are addicted to opiates. And more often than not, it’s heroin,” said Timothy Dick, Assistant Director of Child Protective Services in Clermont County, Ohio. More than half the children placed in foster care in the county this year have parents who are addicted to opiates, he said.
In Ohio, 23 percent of child welfare cases investigated in 2013 involved heroin or cocaine, compared with 19 percent three years earlier. The Public Children Services Association of Ohio found 70 percent of children less than a year old who were placed in foster care had parents who were using those drugs.