Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Rebecca Rebbe, Joe Mienko, and Ali Rowhani-Rahbar Publish Papers on Prenatal Substance Exposure and Child Protection

Posted: 2/15/2019 (CSDE Research)

A team of CSDE scholars featuring trainee Rebecca Rebbe, Social Work, Affiliate Joe Mienko, Senior Research Scientist at Partners for Our Children, Social Work, and Affiliate Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, has just published two articles on prenatal substance exposure and child protection. Both papers use population-based linked administrative data, specifically birth, hospital discharge, and child protective services (CPS) records.

The first paper, “Child protection reports and removals of infants diagnosed with prenatal substance exposure,” was published in Child Abuse & Neglect. Findings indicate that most infants diagnosed with  prenatal substance exposure (PSE) were not removed by child protective services. Minority PSE infants were not reported to CPS or removed by CPS more than white infants, presenting opportunities for targeted prevention efforts.

The second, “Hospital Variation in Child Protection Reports of Substance Exposed Infants,” has been published in The Journal of Pediatrics. It finds that hospital-level and individual birth-level factors impact the likelihood of infants prenatally exposed to substances being reported to CPS. Targeted education and improved policies are necessary to ensure more standardized approaches to CPS reporting of prenatal substance exposure.

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