Meth Consuming State Welfare Agency Resources


The methamphetamine problem is sapping the resources of state welfare agencies, especially in rural areas, as social workers struggle with helping addicts find treatment and their children find new homes, reports A new report by a coalition of child advocacy groups suggests that the number of children removed from their homes because of meth is rising. Generations United, a group that promotes the involvement of grandparents and other family members in children's lives, wants Congress to make it easier for family members to support children in meth-affected homes by providing them some of the same resources foster parents receive. Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee set aside $40 million to support local efforts to deliver services to kids affected by meth use.

Welfare officials not connected to the report said they've been facing a shortage in foster parents since the highly addictive drug — known as meth, crystal meth, ice, glass, and crank — has become more widespread. The drug still accounts for a big chunk of child-welfare cases in states that have tracked the drug's impact. In Montana, drug use is a factor in 66 percent of all foster care placements; meth is the drug at issue in 55 percent of those cases. That means meth is a more common factor than alcohol, which is involved in 52 percent of cases. (The numbers add up to more than 100 percent because of overlap).


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