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We have confirmed through our October 11, 2016 Building Human Assets Meeting with the California Department of Education that there is no federal or state policy in place to address the eligibility status of children suffering from a family history of substance abuse disorders. Hence, the Building Human Assets Project Human Systems Research in Education study is in an area not covered by federal or state laws or regulations. This is why; a new scientific approach is needed, in the best interest of the child.

To the benefit of all children, the Individuals with Disabilities Act was reauthorized and signed into law on December 3, 2004 as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Public Law 108-446. This includes several requirements effective July 1, 2005, which calls for states to establish “policies and regulations” that require referral for early intervention services of a child under the age of three who is identified as affected by illegal substance abuse, or withdrawal symptoms resulting from parental drug exposure” (Section 637(a)(6)(B). This relates to the anatomy of the child suspected of suffering from a family history of substance abuse related disorders.

The Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 was intended to add new requirements under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2004, to include the requirement that states have policies and procedures in place which require health care providers to notify Child Protective Services of “infants born and identified as being affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms that result from prenatal drug exposure. Hence, the educational implications for children inflicted with disorders as a result of exposure to drugs in utero, early intervention and treatment is a basic need.

The 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) shifts federal accountability provisions to the states. ESSA is the law that governs the United States K-12 public education policy, and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act through the reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA established the American federal governments expanded role in funding education; in the best interest of the child. This is the sense through which the words family community engagement reflects on the compelling needs of the child; the family; and the community.

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