Title:  Understanding Birth Parent Addiction and Substance Abuse

Total Number of Hours: 3

Specific parts of the foster care program work that this training address:

  • Factors that contribute to child abuse & neglect, relative to substance abuse and addiction
  • Conditions and experiences that may cause developmental delays and affect attachment issues
  • Being non-judgmental in working with birth parents and supporting children’s connections with birth family members
  • Understanding service planning and supports as they relate to substance abuse and addiction, specifically

Session Description:

This session helps answer the question nearly every resource parent has asked about addiction:  Why isn’t losing your child enough to make a birth parent QUIT using?!?  In this training we will explore the strangle-hold of addiction—not simply the physical symptoms that come after periods of substance abuse, but the emotions and developmental challenges that made the substance use begin in the first place.  By getting to the core causes of addiction, we can help children understand what has happened to them and what is happening with their birth parents struggling with recovery.  Children often believe abuse and neglect is their fault; this session will help resource parents explain to children why that is not true and support the relationship children have with birth parents (without condoning or excusing their choices).  Lastly, we will discuss how our interactions with birth parents can support recovery … or accidentally contribute to the pain that keeps them locked in addiction.