Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Rachel Diamant, PhD, OTR/L, BCP
While the number of infants born with substance abuse exposure continues to grow, the United States lacks a national monitoring system (CDC, 2019). This may contribute to the discrepancy of services and supports available to those working with children with histories of family trauma and substance abuse. The purpose of this study was to investigate the needs and challenges of caregivers and healthcare practitioners working with children with histories of family trauma and substance abuse. To obtain a better understanding and well-rounded image of the challenges and needs, information was gathered from various perspectives of those involved. This OT doctoral capstone project was multifaceted and consisted of several components: 1) a qualitative research study which entailed interviewing healthcare practitioners and caregivers about their experiences in working with children with histories of family trauma and substance abuse; 2) participation in a substance abuse support group for pregnant mothers with the Co- Founder of Hushabye Nursery; and 3) participation in therapy programming for young children with histories of family trauma and substance abuse through the ChildHelp organization. The thematic analysis of interviews and observations from the support groups exhibited an array of issues experience by this population including but not limited to a lack of resources, need for collaboration and many developmental problems. Participation at ChildHelp provided insight into the therapies and services children with histories of family trauma and substance abuse require. This capstone project illustrates the needs and challenges which must be addressed in order for practitioners and caregivers to provide the appropriate care to the children and their families. Last, this paper provides vital information of the role of occupational therapist working with this population.
Contreras, Alexandra, "Experiences of Caregivers and Healthcare Practitioners Working with Children with Histories of Family Trauma and Substance Abuse" (2020). OT Student Capstones. 40.