Advances in neuroscience have shed light on the short- and long-term effects of prenatal substance use on children and families. However, challenges remain to identifying affected individuals and connecting them to services—particularly in cases of prenatal alcohol exposure.

A special double issue of the journal Child Welfare, presented by James Bell Associates and the Child Welfare League of America, examines how child welfare agencies can respond to and care for children and caregivers affected by prenatal alcohol and other drug exposures. It highlights how the issue extends to state and local agencies and what works to help children and families thrive. The two volumes are published with support from the Children’s Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read the foreword by guest editors Erin Ingoldsby and Julie Collins, along with selected articles.

Articles in the first issue include—

  • A Constellation of Adversity: A Developmental Perspective on Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in the Child Welfare System, Douglas Waite
  • Behavioral Impact of Childhood Traumatic Stress in Children With Prenatal Substance Exposure, Philip Bowers, Julie Kable, Molly Millians, Claire D. Coles
  • Policy and Practice in Responding to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in California: Challenges and Opportunities, Sid Gardner
  • Iowa Children and Family Collaborative: An Integrated System of Maternal and Child Behavioral Health Care, Ira J. Chasnoff, Miriam J. Landsman, Lauryn Muzny, Kathy Thompson, Gabriell Carpente, Kayla A. Scanlan
  • FASD and Young Children in Foster Care: Early Detection and Interventions for Caregivers, Sebastian Del Corral Winder, Amy Rinner, Amy Dickson
  • Exploring Child Welfare Practices to Care for Children with Prenatal Substance Exposure, Kathleen Wang, Tammy Richards, Kathleen Kopiec, Sharon Newburg-Rinn, Jacquelyn Bertrand
  • Family Care Plans for Infants With Prenatal Substance Exposure, Margaret Lloyd Sieger, Cynthia Nichols, Ira J. Chasnoff, Emily Putnam-Hornstein, Stephen W. Patrick, Michael Copenhaver
  • “The Problem’s Bigger than We Are”: Understanding How Local Factors Influence Child Welfare Responses to Substance Use in Pregnancy, A Qualitative Study, Sarah F. Loch, Alexandra Muhar, Kathryn Bouskill, Bradley D. Stein, Qi Shi, Kemberlee Bonnet, David Schlundt, Margaret Lloyd Sieger, Elizabeth Parker, Caroline Orgel, Stephen W. Patrick
  • Case Study of a Prevention-Oriented, Strengths-Based Approach to Services for Prenatal Substance Exposure in a Tribal Child Welfare Agency, Erin Geary, Priscilla Day, Natalie Moyer, Amy Red Cloud, Andrea Goodwin, Cheri Goodwin

Articles in the second issue include—

  • Visioning Collaborative Solutions and Strategies to Support Infants With Substance Exposure and their Families, Deborah L. Rooks-Ellis, Christine Spence, Kelly Brown, Serra Acar, Jessica Fort
  • Child Welfare Case Managers’ Perceptions of Parental Substance Use and Experiences With Newborn Crisis Assessments, Kristen D. Seay and Amanda Stafford McRell
  • Knowledge, Training, and Support Needs for Identification and Appropriate Care of Children With Prenatal Alcohol and Other Drug Exposures in the Child Welfare System, Erin Morehouse, Erin Ingoldsby, Sharon Newburg-Rinn, Jacquelyn Bertrand, Kristen Usher
  • Bringing FASD-Informed Care to Child Welfare: An Efficient Community Model for FASD Assessment and Consultation, Heather Carmichael Olson, Michelle Kuhn, Cindy Ola Trevino, Julianne Myers, Nora Byington, Audrey O’Connor, Brandi Chew, Rachel Montague
  • Breaking the Cycle: Applying a Partnership-based, Three-client, Early Intervention Model Within a Child Welfare Framework to Care for Children Exposed Prenatally to Substances, Bianca C. Bondi, Margaret Leslie, Mary Motz
  • Strategies for Caregivers of Children With FASD: Support Groups, Shirley N. Sparks
  • A Family School Readiness Intervention for Children With Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Involvement With the Child Welfare System, Blair Paley, Jolie Delja, Clare Gorospe, Hilary Aralis, Catherine Mogil, Chantal Seshadri, Astrid Heppenstall Heger, Michele Walker-Bauer, Nastassia Hijal
  • Parents and Children Together: A Treatment Program for Children With FASDs, Ira J. Chasnoff, Anne M. Wells, Christine A. Schmidt, Amy S. Groessl
  • Preserving Families of Children in Child Welfare with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Challenges and Opportunities, Tammy Richards, Nicole Miller, Elizabeth Eaton, Sharon Newburg-Rinn, Jacquelyn Bertrand

Ingoldsby, E., & Collins, J. (Eds.). (2023). Opportunities for Child Welfare to Respond to Prenatal Alcohol and Other Substance Exposures [Special issue]. Child Welfare, 101(2, 3).