IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Substance using parents, foster care, and termination of parental rights: The importance of risk factors for legal outcomes

Listed author(s):
  • Meyer, Andrea S.
  • McWey, Lenore M.
  • McKendrick, Wachell
  • Henderson, Tammy L.
Registered author(s):

    Using mixed methods, we compared appellate court foster care cases where parents' rights were terminated to those in which decisions to terminate parental rights were reversed or remanded to better understand the experiences of parents struggling with alcohol and drug use. A content analysis of 60 cases was conducted; 30 cases in which parental rights were terminated, and 30 where decisions to terminate parental rights were overturned or remanded to the lower court. Parents whose rights were terminated were more likely to have mental health problems and experienced incarceration. In addition, when a composite score of risk factors was analyzed, parents whose rights were terminated had significantly more risk factors. For both groups, poverty was an equally common risk factor. Implications include universal assessments for alcohol and drug abuse for parents involved in the child welfare system and timely referrals to appropriate treatment. Further, collaboration between mental health providers, substance use treatment programs, and caseworkers to address the integration of potential risk factors may help promote successful outcomes for parents whose children are in foster care.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (May)
    Pages: 639-649

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:5:p:639-649
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Mills, Linda G. & Friend, Colleen & Conroy, Kathryn & Fleck-Henderson, Ann & Krug, Stefan & Magen, Randy H. & Thomas, Rebecca L. & Trudeau, John H., 2000. "Child protection and domestic violence: Training, practice, and policy issues," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 315-332, May.
    2. Kohl, Patricia L. & Edleson, Jeffrey L. & English, Diana J. & Barth, Richard P., 2005. "Domestic violence and pathways into child welfare services: Findings from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 1167-1182, November.
    3. Kahkonen, Paivi, 1999. "The assessment of parenting in the child welfare practice," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 581-603, July.
    4. Maluccio, Anthony N. & Ainsworth, Frank, 2003. "Drug Use by Parents: A Challenge for Family Reunification Practice," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 511-533, July.
    5. Allen, MaryLee & Golubock, Carol, 1985. "An emerging legal framework for permanency planning," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(2-3), pages 135-160.
    6. Green, Beth L. & Rockhill, Anna & Furrer, Carrie, 2007. "Does substance abuse treatment make a difference for child welfare case outcomes? A statewide longitudinal analysis," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 460-473, April.
    7. Wolock, Isabel & Sherman, Patricia & Feldman, Leonard H. & Metzger, Barbara, 2001. "Child abuse and neglect referral patterns: A longitudinal study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 21-47, January.
    8. Jones, Loring, 1998. "The social and family correlates of successful reunification of children in foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 305-323, May.
    9. Magura, Stephen & Laudet, Alexandre B., 1996. "Parental substance abuse and child maltreatment: Review and implications for intervention," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 193-220.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:5:p:639-649. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.