In the last two decades, methamphetamine-involved parenting has presented some unique challenges to child protective services social workers. In order for social workers to effectively intervene with these families, we must understand the experiences of those who have lived through this phenomenon. This mixed-methods study uses qualitative interviews of parents and children to identify maltreatment risks to which the children were exposed, and the parenting strengths that mitigated those risks. Quantitative measures of parent and child psychosocial functioning were used to understand the context of the risks and subsequent outcomes for family members. The typical child welfare response is described utilizing risk assessment tools. Family members described between 11 and 21 child maltreatment risks to which the children had been exposed. While the children as a group averaged near normal in psychosocial functioning measures, older female children seemed to demonstrate the most negative effects. The majority of parents scored in clinically significant ranges for both physical and mental health problems. At the same time, many of the family members were able to describe instances when the parents made efforts to protect their children from maltreatment risks. Overall, this study points to opportunities for child protection interventions to focus on strengths of parents to protect their children from the child maltreatment risks due to methamphetamine-involved parenting.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2015. Major: Social Work. Advisor: Ronald Rooney. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 241 pages.
Methamphetamine-involved parenting and the risk of child maltreatment: Family experiences and the child welfare response.
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