Between 1999 and 2017, approximately 1,000 children in Allegheny County unexpectedly lost a parent to an accidental overdose. Many of these children had encountered public systems such as child welfare, mental health, and juvenile probation, both before and after the death of their parent(s). As the opioid crisis persists in western Pennsylvania and throughout the country, this webinar will consider specific issues affecting the children left behind.
Eric Hulsey leads behavioral health analytics at the Allegheny County Dept of Human Services and will describe the results of analysis about estimating prevalence of childhood bereavement resulting from unexpected loss due to parental overdose and encounters with public systems.
Cynthia Grindel, Account Manager at Life Solutions EAP, will discuss ways that helping professionals like mental health counselors, child welfare specialists, and school personnel can support children who have lost parents to overdose.
Both presenters will discuss implications for the future, including the ways that systems and helping professionals need to adjust to accommodate the growing number children who have lost parents to overdose over the course of their development into adults.