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Promising Practices in Chronic Neglect. Dee Wilson, MSW Northwest Institute for Children and Families, University of Washington June 18, 2008 Neglect: The Hidden Cost of Meth and Other Substance Abuse Deschutes County Summit. Parents.

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Promising practices in chronic neglect

Promising Practices in Chronic Neglect

Dee Wilson, MSW

Northwest Institute for Children and Families, University of Washington

June 18, 2008

Neglect: The Hidden Cost of Meth and Other Substance Abuse

Deschutes County Summit


Parents
Parents

Concern: Parents with substance abuse and mental health problems have low rates of initial engagement in treatment.

Promising practices: Motivational Interviewing


Parents1
Parents

Concern: Parents drop out of treatment or relapse, lose hope of overcoming obstacles to getting children back.

Promising practices:

Parent mentors for support and encouragement


Parents2
Parents

Concern: Convincing decision makers to return children to their custody; progress in treatment is rarely smooth and without setbacks, and families usually have a variety of serious problems apart from substance abuse.

Promising practices:

Family Treatment, or Dependency Drug Courts


Parents3
Parents

Concern: Parents completing treatment programs often return to the same living arrangements and same neighborhoods

Promising practice:

Transitional Housing


Parents4
Parents

Concern: Parents in recovery with low levels of education are destined for lengthy welfare dependence or a struggle for survival in the low wage economy.

Promising practice:

Education and Job Training Programs, partnerships with business sector to hire and support parents


Parents5
Parents

Concern: The problems and stresses associated with reunification may overwhelm a parent’s ability to cope.

Promising practice:

Intensive Support (ex: Respite Care) for reunified families for at least one year.


Children
Children

Concern: Substance abuse and mental health problems interfere with emotionally sensitive responsive care-giving.

Promising practice:

Parenting Programs and visitation that promote attachment.


Children1
Children

Concern: Chronic neglect and chronic maltreatment have a powerful cumulative effect on children’s cognitive development and social development and the capability to regulate emotions.

Promising practice: Therapeutic Child Development Programs


Children2
Children

Concern: Chronically neglectful parenting often leads to children who engage in non-stop negative attention getting behavior with parents and to be oppositional with childcare staff and teachers as well.

Promising practice:

Parenting Programs that teach how to reduce such behaviors


Children3
Children

Concern: Neglected children’s reduced ability to calm themselves when experiencing negative emotional states mimics the difficulties traumatized children experience with affect regulation.

Promising practice:

Trauma Treatment Techniques for Children


Children4
Children

Concern: Hopeless/ helpless attitudes of youth that can become self-fulfilling.

Promising practice:

Resiliency Based Youth Programs


Community professional
Community/Professional

Concern: “I’ve called and called. Why don’t they open this case?” Tensions between child welfare and community partners re: when to open a case.

Promising practice:

Clear protocol, shared with community, for when child welfare is best approach, and when voluntary community based services are best.


Community professional1
Community/Professional

Concern: Limited funding for early intervention and prevention leads to over-reliance on child welfare.

Promising practice:

Develop funding for family support programs that engage vulnerable families in a supportive, non-stigmatizing setting.


Community professional2
Community / Professional

Concern: Families have many needs, many providers, many mandates and ‘dueling case plans….’

Promising practice:

Develop teams around and with families to coordinate services and plans.


Community professional3
Community/Professional

Concern: Working with such families can be exhausting and ‘burn out’ even the most idealistic helpers.

Promising practice:

Build teams, so that helpers from different agencies or faith/community groups can take the lead at different times.


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