Adolescents in the Foster Care System: The Correlation Between Mental Disorders and Substance Use

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Jenna Ledbetter
Gary Dick


By Jenna Ledbetter, Social Work

Advisor: Gary Dick

Presentation ID: 15

Abstract: As of 2019, there are roughly 423,997 children in the United States foster care system. Of all the recorded children in the United States foster care system, 144,159 children qualify as adolescents falling in between ages ten through eighteen (The AFCARS Report, 2019). It's estimated that 80% of all children in the United States foster care system have significant mental health issues (McCann, n.d.). Furthermore, there is a significant population of adolescents in the foster care system that have tried substances. Many adolescents have even been diagnosed with a substance use disorder. It is likely and possible that there is a correlation between these two factor. This study will examine, analyze, and explore this correlation.

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Category: Health and Well-Being