The face of addiction is not always the face of the addicted.
Sometimes, it is the face of a child affected by the addiction of a parent.
Our month-long SunLight Project series on the looming opioid crisis looks at children affected by addiction this week.
As noted in stories running in the Sunday, Nov. 12, and Tuesday, Nov. 14, editions, some children face a difficult home life because of a parent’s addiction while some babies are born addicted because the pregnant mother was addicted.
Throughout the state, the number of children entering foster-care programs is rising because of the rising number of opioid addictions.
Sadly, as opioid addiction rises so will the number of children needing foster care.
The foster-care system is already in need of more foster parents. If Georgia were to experience an opioid crisis on the level of West Virginia or New Hampshire, hundreds possibly thousands more foster parents would be needed in the state.
Earlier this year, the state’s Division of Family and Children Services reported there are almost 8,000 children in foster care in Georgia.
Like the people affected by opioids, children in need of foster care come from many backgrounds and situations. They are children of all ages and races. A great many of them have special needs, including teenagers, siblings and children with physical, emotional and/or behavioral disabilities.
The Division of Family and Children Services operates under the Georgia Department of Human Services and is tasked with assuring that children are safe from abuse and neglect.
Dedicated caregivers are a critical part of fulfilling that mission. With the expected rise of opioid abuse in Georgia, the need for dedicated caregivers will be even greater.
People interested in serving as a foster parent can call (877) 210-KIDS.