The Child Care Center in West Virginia’s Huntington area is a center with a difference; it caters to toddlers and babies exposed to opioids while in womb. The condition called the ‘neonatal abstinence syndrome’ or NAS requires a different kind of handling and the caregivers at the center are trained into it.
The Huntington center managed by River Valley Child Development Services runs on state funds and presently houses eight kids. Six kids faced opioid exposure in womb while the other two underwent methamphetamines exposure as was ascertained from testing of their umbilical cord. All of them were subjected to several more drugs.
As per research, the likelihood of kids with prenatal opioid exposure, suffering from ADHD and cognitive and motor impairments in later life are very high. The aim of the center is providing best care possible to reduce the incidence of such problems in kids later on. And results are being seen in the young kids within few weeks of stay at the center.
The center has space for 16 kids but for the moment only eight kids are being cared for due to lack of funds. The center’s executive director, Suzi Brodof knows that showering the kids with boundless love and care is going to change the world for them. And she is going all out with her efforts in raising funds so that additional staffers can be employed for providing care to another eight kids. The oldest kids housed by the center are twins; a girl and a boy aged 11 months.
The harm caused due to opiate exposure during pregnancy is devastating and lasts for long times to come. The establishment of the new child care center in Huntington is a ray of hope to many families reeling under one of the worst opioid crisis to have hit the country in recent times.