Children's panel looks at meth, child abuse link
Friday, December 13, 2013 10:00 AM
Children too often are innocent victims of parents who abuse drugs.
A state commission seeking ways to improve the lives of Indiana's most vulnerable children is forming a task force to investigate whether there's a link between methamphetamine arrests and child welfare cases.
Our guess is ... yes.
Data from the Indiana State Police show that last year, 372 Indiana children were found living in places with illegal meth labs.
The children are in danger in several ways: adults abusing drugs are unfit to care for children, and homes with drugs and meth labs create an unsafe physical environment for youngsters.
Members of the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana voted this week to create the task force after hearing about disturbing cases involving child deaths in homes where adults were using illegal drugs.
In one case, a boy fell into a bucket of bleach and drowned after his mother passed out from drug use.
The director of Indiana's Department of Child Services, Mary Beth Bonaventura, said that drug use is a factor in the majority of the agency's cases.
Commission members were particularly concerned by the prevalence of meth manufacturing in Indiana.
The commission was created earlier this year by the legislature and includes lawmakers, state department heads and judges.
While it might be unpleasant, children need to be removed from homes where they face danger from adults who abuse drugs.