Research of Foster Care Admission Trends
These trends are true for the foster care system in Florida as well. Parental drug use and custody are growing issues, as is also the case nationwide. Foster care in Florida saw 7,357 children under the age of three entering the system in the fiscal year 2017. Over the past few years, the number of kids entering the foster care system in Florida has gone up by about 11%. Furthermore, according to the Florida Guardian ad Litem Executive Director Alan Abramowitz, much of this is due to the opioid crisis (such as drugs like Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, Morphine, and Fentanyl).
Along with children being removed from the home later in their life, reasons why children are in foster care can also relate to what happens at birth. For example, a child may be removed from parental care if it is born with drug withdrawal syndrome from opioids, which is called neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a baby is born every 15 minutes in the U.S. who suffers from NAS.
Foster care statistics show there actually was a decrease in the percentage of children entering the foster system in Florida in 2017 due to parental drug abuse, but it was slight at -2%. The rate is still pervasively high in Florida and significantly higher in many states around the country.