Via The Daytona Beach News-Journal:
State and local child welfare officials are dealing with a surge in abuse and neglect cases primarily blamed on prescription drug abuse. A program has been implemented the past two years and restructured locally to provide more intervention to families to keep children in their homes.
Lack of funding, though, limits the Intensive Family Intervention program to 40 families at a time -- 10 cases for each of the four case workers for Volusia, Flagler and Putnam counties. But Abramowitz is looking at reworking funding to expand the program and provide more substance abuse treatment. He is meeting later this month with treatment providers to find solutions.
About 80 percent of the cases of abuse or neglect in the region, which includes Volusia and Flagler and 18 other counties, involve prescription drug abuse, he said.
The number of children in foster care and other out-of-home placements is up 17 percent from two years ago with 1,043 children in placements in Volusia, Flagler and Putnam counties, reports show. The number of children removed from their homes is up 10 percent in the three-county area from just last fiscal year. But the state has also prevented hundreds of children from being removed locally through prevention and diversion programs, including one by a local provider, Neighbor To Family...
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