ADOPTION AND PRENATAL ALCOHOL AND DRUG EXPOSURE
V. Professional Development
In the first instances, the first obstacle that presents itself on the road to adoption for infants and children with prenatal substance exposure is ambivalence and uncertainly on the part of professionals regarding future prospects - that is, the adoptability - of these children.
The ambivalence about the outcomes for these children is shared by adoption professionals, lawyers and judges, physicians and nurses, psychologists, and child development specialists. The consequence is often that practitioners prefer to wait to place children with adoptive families, hoping for more definitive long-term findings to guide their work when such conclusive findings are not available.
Areas for professional development
- Knowledge of alcoholism and addiction and the impact of chemical dependency on the child and the family
- Knowledge of the potential effects of prenatal substance exposure on child development
- Awareness of the multiple agencies and professional disciplines that are involved in serving substance abusing families and recognize the importance of coordination among child welfare, medicine, nursing, education, child development, psychology, substance abuse treatment, and the legal system
- Skills in assessing and working with birth parents, relatives, foster parents, and adoptive parents .
PRENATAL SUBSTANCE EXPOSURE
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