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February 2011Vol. 12, No. 1Substance-Exposed Newborns and the AIA Resource Center

The National Abandoned Infants Assistance (AIA) Resource Center is funded through the Children's Bureau to serve as a center of expertise, resources, and training for professionals who provide services to infants at risk of abandonment due to HIV or drugs in their family. Newborns who have been perinatally exposed to drugs or HIV are at especially high risk for child maltreatment and developmental challenges, and it was this population of "boarder babies" that prompted the Federal Government to pass legislation creating the Resource Center and funding programs to help these children and their families.

As part of its mandate to provide information that can help jurisdictions, agencies, and hospitals prevent infant abandonment and exposure to drugs and HIV, the Resource Center held a conference in June 2010 on substance-exposed newborns (SEN). The conference included workshops and presentations describing promising practices for preventing perinatal substance exposure and for offering services and support for substance-exposed infants and their families. Representatives from direct-service programs around the country offered some insight into the best ways to engage parents and address the needs of SEN. Presentations covered such topics as screening pregnant women, meeting CAPTA requirements, mentoring families, developmental and medical interventions for SEN, and family treatment drug courts.

Many of the conference presentations and handouts are now available on the AIA Resource Center website:

The Resource Center website also offers a variety of other information and resources on SEN, including webcasts and reports:

Profiles of 17 family-focused direct-service projects currently receiving Federal AIA funds are summarized in a downloadable booklet on the Resource Center website. Each profile includes a history of the program, service delivery model, information on staffing and community collaboration, and contact information: (1.14 MB)

For more information, visit the website, or contact Resource Center staff: