We Recover Together: Child Welfare League of America Observes 2001 National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

Child Welfare League of America
Thursday, 6 September 2001

Substance abuse is a factor in the majority of child abuse and neglect cases, according to a new publication by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) entitled Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Child Welfare. As part of its observance of September as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, CWLA is distributing this booklet to opinion-shapers and policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels. The goal is to educate agency administrators, media figures, elected officials and the general public about this widespread but treatable public health problem and to celebrate those in recovery.

According to CWLA Executive Director Shay Bilchik, "an alarming number of families in the child welfare system suffer from the chronic disease of addiction. Evidence from various studies suggests that 40% to 80% of the families involved in the child welfare system nationwide struggle with this issue." Despite this known linkage, a study released by CWLA in 1998 of state child welfare agencies found that many cannot adequately address substance abuse in child welfare cases.

"To break the link between child abuse and substance abuse, parents need help from supportive systems and resources," says Bilchik. "Solving the addiction problem in America is all about investing in children." A 1999 Gallup poll found that 81% of Americans agreed that "tax dollars should be spent on lowering drug use."

CWLA is joining forces with the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and numerous organizations and communities in celebrating National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. "Our hope," says Bilchik, "is that communities nationwide will join together in celebrating individuals who are in recovery and in recognizing the treatment providers who dedicate their lives to helping those in need. Families need to know that treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse works." Activities during September will focus on the strength of families who have achieved sobriety, regained control of their lives, and are now able to nurture their children.

Established in 1920, the Child Welfare League of America is the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CWLA strives to advance sound public policy and practice on behalf of the more than three million abused, neglected, and vulnerable children served by its more than 1,150 public and private member agencies. To further its mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting the well-being of all children, youth, and their families, CWLA conducts research, develops standards of best practice, hosts regional and national conferences, provides comprehensive field-based consultation and professional development services, and is the largest publisher of child welfare materials in North America.

For more information, or to contact Child Welfare League of America, see their website at: www.cwla.org

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