A nurse stealthily approaches one of the cradles, positioning a stethoscope on a small package swathed in white blankets. The infant moves but doesn't reveal her eyes, ultimately succumbing once more to tranquil rest. She is among four infants exposed to drugs being attended to at the Pediatric Interim Care Center, roughly 20 miles to the south of Seattle.
"The babies generally have anywhere from two to five drugs in their system, if not more," detailed Barbara Drennen, the founder of PICC in 1990. Since that time, over 3,300 babies sent by the Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families have been granted withdrawal treatment and a secure refuge by her team.
Drennen now fears a freshly introduced state policy that no longer mandates hospitals to notify Child Protective Services of all newborns exposed to substances might put at risk infants like the ones under her care. The state, however, counters by stating its objective is the safeguarding of children and the prevention of unnecessary family separations.
In June, Washington's Department of Health (DOH) revealed the revised policy. Hospitals must adhere to it by Jan. 1, 2025.
Previously, medical staff at birthing hospitals were obligated to notify CPS of newborns affected by exposure to drugs or alcohol during pregnancy. Currently, families may access what the state refers to as "voluntary wrap-around services" without a formal report, assuming there are no safety issues regarding the infant, as per DOH.
"There's not a lot of change in terms of the types of circumstances that they were previously reporting," conveyed Alissa Copeland, early learning program manager for Washington's Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). "The biggest change is that families that would not necessarily meet that threshold around safety concerns are now offered a voluntary community pathway that they didn't previously have available."
Included substances may encompass alcohol, marijuana, or harder drugs, and also medications that an expecting mother might be consuming as instructed, even if she's uninformed that it may affect her child, as per Copeland.
Drennen declared that addiction has "hit every family in America." Though the types of drugs might have evolved since she established PICC 33 years prior, the significance of the center remains constant, she expressed.
The facility enables caseworkers to converse with families, perform inspections of homes, and carry out background examinations to ensure that an infant exposed to substances will be secure, according to Drennen. This safeguard is something she is apprehensive about losing as the state implements its new regulations.
"It has allowed the caseworker to go home at night and know the place she has put this baby in permanently has checked out fine," Drennen said. "This is what this program was designed for, and it has done its job."
Trending Political News
San Francisco Walgreens Makes Desperate Move to Stop Shoplifting
The escalating crime rates and rampant shoplifting in San Francisco, a concerning issue well-known to anyone keeping an eye on the city, continues to wreak havoc.
The escalating crime rates have driven numerous stores to shut down, while others scramble to devise strategies to curb the merchandise pilferage by thieves.
CNN Anchor Changes His Tune When it Comes to Covering Hunter Biden
On Monday, CNN's Jake Tapper expressed strong conviction regarding the necessity to report on the Hunter Biden controversy, a stance that stands in stark contrast to his position during the 2020 presidential elections.
While guesting on the "On with Kara Swisher" podcast, Tapper was questioned about Hunter Biden's recent settlement agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning his tax offenses. The plea has been criticized as excessively lenient by some, especially following substantial IRS whistleblower claims suggesting that prosecutors were hindered from filing more serious charges. Furthermore, the allegations indicate that investigators were advised not to probe possible financial connections between Hunter and his father, President Biden.
Special Needs Teacher Fired After Schools District Makes Shocking Discovery
Kristin MacDonald, a teaching assistant for special needs students, was dismissed by School District 43 in British Columbia, Canada, upon learning that she operated an OnlyFans account under the alias "Ava James."
Despite the district's instruction to deactivate all accounts associated with this online persona, MacDonald chose not to comply, which resulted in her termination. She first learned about the district's stance via an email she received on April 28.
Singer Apologizes for Disrespectful Miscue During National Anthem at MLB Home Run Derby
Iam Tongi, victor of the 21st season of "American Idol," expressed remorse when he inadvertently neglected to take off his hat during his performance of the national anthem.
Tongi delivered this significant performance at the 2023 MLB Home Run Derby held at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Monday. The singer first gained prominence after his triumphant run on "American Idol" in May.
WWE Legend Stares Down Shark As it Approaches His Wife on the Beach
WWE superstar, The Undertaker and his spouse, recognized professionally as Michelle McCool, encountered a scary incident by the pristine blue waters on Sunday afternoon.
McCool, legally known as Michelle Calaway, shared numerous videos on her Twitter profile featuring a nurse shark navigating in the shallow waters around her. She narrated that she beckoned her husband to witness the scenario.
Rock Star Labels A-List Celebs 'Disgusting' For Interacting with Trump at UFC Event
Jack White, the renowned rock musician, expressed his dissatisfaction with celebrities Guy Fieri, Mel Gibson, Joe Rogan, and Mark Wahlberg for their engagement with ex-President Donald Trump at a recent UFC event in Las Vegas.
Images of the quartet in the company of Trump at the UFC 290 event, held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, began circulating online over the weekend. Reacting to this, White voiced his displeasure via his Instagram platform.