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Nancy Stebler, a volunteer “cuddler” at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, puts on a gown in the neonatal intensive care unit at the start of her shift. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

For more than a year, Pennsylvania leaders have been meeting to strategize about how the state can better protect infants affected by drug use.

While it remains worthy work at any time, the federal legislation requiring states to develop these ‘plans of safe care’ was passed 15 years ago. The effort is only recently picking up steam as the state, and the nation, find themselves in crisis mode over the opioid epidemic.

“While we are talking, bad things are happening to infants and children. Some of them will end up in foster care and sadly, some of them will be damaged,” said state Rep. Katharine Watson, chair of the House Children and Youth Committee.

Pennsylvania isn’t the only state lagging in the creation of its safe care plan. Fewer than half the states in the nation have implemented sweeping federal requirements intended to change the way the government tries to help drug-exposed infants.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE AT:

https://projects.publicsource.org/pittsburgh-opioid-epidemic/pennsylvania-lags-in-developing-a-plan-of-protection-for-infants-affected-by-drugs.html

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