America and other organizations have found that substance abuse is a factor in at least 75% of all placements in out-of-home care.
There is currently a shortage of foster parents trained to care for medically fragile infants, many of whom have been exposed to alcohol or drugs in utero. These infants often remain hospitalized for several months because foster care agencies cannot find families who are able and willing to care for them. Even after they are placed, they often are moved from one home to the next in search of foster parents with the patience and skill needed to care for them.
Eighty percent of States now report that parental abuse of alcohol or drugs is one of the two most common problems in families reported for child maltreatment. Children in these families frequently suffer serious emotional and behavior problems as a result of the erratic and abusive parenting behavior that often accompanies substance abuse.