RD566 - 2019 Report on Plan for Services for Substance-Exposed Infants
In 2017, the Governor and General Assembly directed the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to convene a workgroup to study barriers to the identification and treatment of substance-exposed infants in the Commonwealth. In December 2017, the workgroup made recommendations in a report submitted to the General Assembly. The recommendations included:
Related to the workgroup’s recommendations, the 2018 General Assembly amended the Code of Virginia (§ 32.1-73.12) identifying the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) as the lead agency to develop, coordinate, and implement a plan for services for substance-exposed infants. The plan must:
1. support a trauma-informed approach to the identification and treatment of substance-exposed infants and their caregivers and include options for improving screening and identification of substance-using pregnant women; and
The General Assembly directed VDH to work cooperatively with the following stakeholders in developing the plan:
• Virginia Department of Social Services,
VDH is required to report to the General Assembly annually regarding implementation of the plan.
Various state and local agencies, health systems, and community partners are involved in efforts to provide services and resources for substance-exposed infants and their families. However, VDH identified a lack of coordination and knowledge of these efforts and resources among partners and health systems. Many partner organizations know what is available within their respective communities but this does not transcend to resources and services external to the community. In FY18, VDH conducted an environmental scan survey to capture efforts and resources currently available to pregnant and post-partum women and substance-exposed infants across the Commonwealth. In FY19, VDH completed analysis of the survey results, which are included in Appendix E.