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Title: Improving parental support through education for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
Authors: Kreps, Allyson
Issue Date: 30-Sep-2020
Abstract: My Master’s of Social Work (MSW) advanced practicum took place at Health Sciences North (HSN) in Sudbury Ontario, in the in the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatrics, and birthing centre at HSN. Although limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic that occurred part way through my field work. My main role at HSN for my advanced practicum project was directed at implementing supports and education to families of babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). I chose to examine addiction, problematic substance use/abuse and parenting, and the stigma that surrounds mothers who use substances problematically or have addictions. Through examining different theories, I began with the goal of being able to address the gap in support and education for mothers experiencing the process of having a baby with NAS from birth to after discharge from the hospital. From this goal, I was able to create a support system through conversations with mothers and reviewing research that could be followed through any professional work as a part of the families’ care teams while I was still placed in the hospital. As the pandemic changed regulations and my work, I was unable to continue this work in the hospital setting and I shifted focus to work with Michelle Buckner and created a training package on peer support in the NICU. Through my placement at HSN, I set out to help educate families through an antioppressive practice lens by identifying their child’s needs through the NAS process and what they should expect. Anti-oppressive practice lenses was used when creating and implementing the NAS information package along with when working with mothers and discussing cases with other professionals involved in particular cases. However, it became apparent that there was also a need to educate medical professionals and care team members on stigma and how their own personal biases were, and are, having a direct effect on the educational shortcomings and support deficits for these families. I, along with my supervisor were able to begin to help bring awareness to the problem of stigma with medical professionals and social workers by sharing the NAS information package with them and the importance of education on this subject. The learning goals I had going into this work were to gain an understanding of NAS support, benefits to family centered approaches, attachment and anti-oppressive practice theory within the hospital setting and working with interdisciplinary teams in order to address problems within this system and begin to create change for social work practice with NAS care. I was able to begin to meet these goals by providing an information guide to better help support mothers and create a nonoppressive, and the importance of establishing a judgmental relationship between practitioners and mothers who have addictions or use substances problematically.
Appears in Collections:Social Work - Master's Major Papers

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