Summary of “Children of the Opioid Epidemic Are Flooding Foster Homes. America Is Turning a Blind Eye. – Mother Jones”

The scourge of addiction to painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl sweeping the country has produced a flood of bewildered children who, having lost their parents to drug use or overdose, are now living with foster families or relatives.
The pattern mirrors a national trend: Largely because of the opioid epidemic, there were 30,000 more children in foster care in 2015 than there were in 2012-an 8 percent increase.
In Texas, Florida, Oregon, and elsewhere, kids have been forced to sleep in state buildings because there were no foster homes available, says advocacy group Children’s Rights.
Now in her ninth year as a social worker, she has perfected the code-switching that casework requires: She’s gentle with crying toddlers who don’t understand why they can’t see their parents, playful with teenagers over coffee check-ins, and unyielding with doctors who refuse to see the children she calls “My kids” because of insurance complications.
The $30 million boost in funding over two years, which will pay foster parents and provide counseling for the kids, won’t make up for the $55 million increase in child placement costs over the past three years.
Other than county pilot programs, “No policy or state investment has focused specifically on the children flooding into county agency custody as a result of the opioid epidemic,” concluded a report by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio this spring.
“There has been very little attention to the long-term effects this epidemic will have on children and what Ohio needs to do now to prepare for the onset of behavioral issues, learning disabilities, and developmental delays as children age.”
Today, Amber wears her mother’s ashes in a tear-shaped necklace and lives in a bustling house with nine other foster kids.

The orginal article.