Parental Drug Use May Lead To ChildLine Investigation

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Oct 31, 2023 | 0 Comments

Recently, a NJ mother who allowed her two-year old child access to fentanyl and heroin, resulting in the child's death, was prosecuted for manslaughter. The mother had left significant quantities of heroin and fentanyl within easy reach of the two-year-old, and his five-year-old sibling and the two-year-old ingested these drugs, leading directly to his death. Allowing children exposure to illegal drug use is an extremely serious issue. Even in the absence of physical harm to a child, a parent or other adult who is legally responsible for children can be subjected to a ChildLine investigation or even face criminal charges.

Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686 or provide your details online, and we will contact you.

Potential Harm of Parent Drug Use

The tragedy of losing a child is an extreme example of the consequences of parental drug use, but even in the absence of physical injury to a child, parental drug use puts a child at risk. If a parent is addicted to alcohol or drugs, they may be emotionally unavailable to their children. The parent's mental function and judgment may be impaired, placing the child at risk for all forms of abuse or neglect. The criminal activity associated with drug manufacture or distribution may also put a child at risk. Even casual drug use may expose a parent to child abuse allegations.

ChildLine Reports

ChildLine is a program of Child Protective Services that accepts child abuse reports and transmits the information to the appropriate investigating agency. ChildLine is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Family members and friends who view drug use by a parent may use this hotline, and the parent will then find themself under investigation.


Once a report is made to Child Protective Services, the children's and youth agency will conduct an assessment to determine if the child is safe. A caseworker will generally complete an initial assessment within 30 days, although it may extend this period to 60 days. If there is parental drug use in the home, this step can present problems for the parent. ChildLine investigations result in three types of findings--indicated, founded, or unfounded. But any ChildLine report can have a drastic and devastating effect on your life, including your professional life. A ChildLine investigation may prevent you from entering certain professions, it may expose you to disciplinary charges if you have a professional license, and it may prevent you from volunteering at your church or child's school.

Possible Criminal Charges

Where there has been serious harm to a child, the parent may face child endangerment charges. In the majority of situations, endangering the welfare of a child is a misdemeanor of the 1st degree. If the child is under six or if the situation involves a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury, the charge may escalate to a felony.

When your future employment and reputation are on the line because of a ChildLine investigation, you need tough and experienced representation. The Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team has successfully helped many families facing similar circumstances. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686 or provide your details online, and we will contact you.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.