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Journal Issue: Children and Poverty Volume 7 Number 2 Summer/Fall 1997

Lucy Salcido Carter Carol S. Larson


The problem of drug-exposed infants has been a societal concern for more than a decade. The Future of Children devoted its first journal issue in spring 19911 to this topic and has provided information updates in subsequent journal issues.2 The 1991 issue reviewed the major trends in judicial, legislative, and treatment responses to this problem, reporting that, for the most part, appellate courts were rejecting attempts to prosecute pregnant substance-abusing women, and state and federal legislative efforts were creating more treatment programs for, rather than punishment of, these women. With only limited exceptions, these trends continue today. Evaluations of treatment programs funded through the federal initiatives of the late 1980s and early 1990s show some level of treatment effectiveness. However, they also highlight the continuing need for rigorous evaluations of treatment outcomes.