Prenatal Cocaine Exposure: Long‐Run Effects and Policy Implications

Berger, Lawrence M.; Waldfogel, Jane

In this article, we review the literature regarding prenatal cocaine exposure and child development. We then reexamine current child welfare policies in light of that literature, paying particular attention to laws that mandate reporting substance‐exposed newborns and substance use during pregnancy as well as policies that view such reports as prima facie evidence of child maltreatment. Finally, we reassess the utility of such policies, given our current knowledge of the long‐term effects of prenatal exposure, and consider alternative approaches to protecting children who are born to parents who are using crack cocaine.



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Social Service Review

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Social Work
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September 10, 2012