Aiden’s Law protects infants exposed to recreational drugs
LEWES, Del. – It was a day of remembrance, and a day of celebration, as a piece of legislation that took nearly two years to become law will now aim to make sure that the children of Delaware are safe and parents who struggle with addiction have their needs met.
“One of the things that this did was set up a protocol for hospitals to make notifications to the division of family services, when the child is born and there’s been exposure to a substance. It also allows for us to create a plan of safe care that will help to support the family and the infant to ensure that their needs are met,” said Director of the Delaware Division of Family Services Trenee Parker.
The new law, now named Aiden’s Law was created after eight month old Aiden Hundley who’s mother was addicted to drugs, died from abuse from both his parents. Leaving an entire hospital and community heartbroken.
“We had a safety net previously but it had some gaps and that’s really what failed Aiden,” said Executive Director of the Women’s and Children’s Health Services at Beebe Medical Center Bridget Buckaloo.
Since his death, officials have worked tirelessly to create the law that will now provide a safe plan for both infants and their parents.
“We put certain pieces in place for visiting for the mom and the newborn. you put skilled nurses there and because these children are still vulnerable when they go home, we want to make sure that they’re gaining weight but they’re meeting their developmental milestones,” said Buckaloo.
“Our goal is to make sure that the collaborative effort that we’ve been working on over the last three years with the birthing hospitals, substance-abuse providers, mental health providers, my agency, the office of the child advocate, that we all come together around families and provide them with what they need,” said Parker.
Officials add that they’re committed to helping each and every child, mother, and father to make sure what happened to Aiden, never happens again to another child.
“Moving forward we were committed that it’s not going to happen again we are not going to have another Aiden Hundley,” said Buckaloo.
Officials say the safe care plan is already up and running and they have high hopes that the program will be a success.