‘It’s just horrific’: caseworkers break their silence to reveal toll of addiction on children


In southern Ohio, the number of drug-exposed babies in child protection custody has jumped over 200%. The problem is so dire that workers agreed to break protocol to invite a reporter to hear their stories. With drugs, there are no good choices, only less awful ones. Inside the Clinton County child protection office, the week has been tougher than most.Caseworkers in this thinly populated region of southern Ohio, east of Cincinnati, have grown battle-weary from an opioid epidemic that’s leaving behind a generation of traumatized children. Drugs now account for nearly 80% of their cases. Foster-care placements are at record levels, and the number of drug-exposed newborns in their custody has jumped over 200% in the past decade. Funding, meanwhile, hasn’t budged in years. Continue reading…

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