You may not have heard yet about the change in federal law that allows states to use federal matching dollars to pay for child abuse prevention services for biological families rather than solely for foster care services after the child has been removed from the home. This law was included in a large omnibus funding bill and so did not get a lot of notice, but nationally it is a huge change in perspective for how we have been dealing with families and children. There is much evidence that the removal of a child from her parent is a trauma similar to the trauma of abuse or neglect. If we can prevent families from descending into this level of dysfunction by providing mental health, drug abuse services and parenting support, we should be able to prevent this type of childhood trauma on a large scale. If you'd like to hear more about the new law, how it works, and my personal take on why it is needed you can listen HERE.
Laura Shamblin, MD