Friday, December 11, 2015

Kempe Grand Rounds: Marijuana and Child Welfare Health Impact Assessment: Findings and Preliminary Recommendations

Monday, December 14th
12:00 pm- 1:00 pm
Kempe Education Center, 2nd Floor
Call in info: 1-800-724-2482

Greg Tung, PhD MPH
Assistant Professor
Department of Health Systems, Management, and Policy
Colorado School of Public Health
Research interests: injury prevention, policy translation, public health systems

Summary of the presentation:
A health impact assessment (HIA) is being conducted by the Colorado School of Public Health in collaboration with the Kempe Center and Children’s Hospital Colorado to inform the Colorado Department of Human Services’ considerations of policies surrounding how marijuana should be operationalized within child welfare decision-making. The recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado has raised questions about the implications for public health. In particular, attention has been paid to the anticipated impact on children and to policies that can be implemented to mitigate them, such as those related to marijuana and child abuse or neglect. To inform the development of evidence-informed recommendations, we are conducting an assessment that includes a literature review, a policy scan among county departments of human/social services, qualitative interviews with county caseworkers or managers, and interviews with families who have interfaced with child welfare as a result of marijuana involvement. Based on data compiled through this assessment, initial recommendations to the state are being developed to target three main areas: (1) the definition of drug-endangered children; (2) the intended implications of this definition for child welfare and mandatory reporting practices; and (3) additional research.