Back From the Brink: Women, Crack, and the Child Welfare System

The Challenge of Drug Abuse in Child Welfare, Part One

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

January 1, 2001


As part of the Foundation’s Family to Family initiative, this document was created as a tool for program grantees to learn about crack cocaine and its impact on women and their children. The report presents information on how the drug affects women and their parenting; how drug treatment approaches and addiction models may vary across communities; and promising ways in which programs could better adapt to serve mothers who are affected by crack use. The research on crack addiction and promising treatment approaches only reflect the research through 1996. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Key Characteristics and Skills for Workers Responsible for Children of Drug-Affected Women

Workers who are responsible for the children of drug-affected women need specific skills and characteristics to successfully engage with the children’s mother. These include compassion and empathy, a supportive approach, a belief in resilience, a safety focus, partnerships for decision making, an emphasis on strengths, assessment skills, short-term goal development and monitoring, motivational skills and knowledge of relapse prevention strategies.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations