Substance-exposed newborns (SENs) are at increased risk of child maltreatment, out-of-home placement, and poor health and developmental outcomes. The purpose of this systematic review is to synthesize existing research on community- and home-based interventions designed to improve parenting and reduce risk of maltreatment for families with SENs, applying a program logic framework. The review includes studies that used preexperimental, quasi-experimental, and experimental designs. Twelve interventions were identified. Of the nine studies that used more rigorous experimental or quasi-experimental designs, five showed positive effects on at least one parenting or child maltreatment outcome, although some studies showed high risk of bias. Full coherence among the intended participants, theory of change, and program components was observed for only two interventions. The findings suggest a need for more rigorous research to develop and test interventions that are grounded in theory and prior research and that address the unique needs of families with SENs.
Child Maltreat. 2019 Aug 13. doi: 10.1177/1077559519866272.