When choosing between separating kids from their parents, or housing those kids with their drug-addicted parents, I'm not sure how anyone could use the word 'better' for either option.
But that goes in both directions, right? Neither is an ideal result, but we are ultimately making that choice anyway. Looking the other way and pretending that we haven't made a choice by default just seems incredibly stupid. We're kidding ourselves.
And again, this only addresses the case of parents who can't or wont stop using drugs (even if just sufficiently to pass the tests). For the other 96%, we've either not impacted them at all *or* we've provided that nudge to not use drugs (or use them less). That's a net positive IMO. So we have a significant positive on one hand (some likely large number of kids who will be with their parents, but who's parents wont be using drugs who might have otherwise), and at worst a break even among the 4% who will still use drugs.
Even if the results for taking children out of a drug users home versus keeping them in that home and providing them welfare are equal (and I'm pretty sure they aren't), we should still do this. You'd have to show that the negative effects of forcing that smaller group into choosing their drugs or their children is so much greater that it outweighs the general benefits to the larger group. And I just don't think you (or anyone) can make a strong case for that.
Seems like one of those things a sociologist could study for dozens of years with mixed results. A general policy ignoring specifics and what not. Not that we really have the resources atm to tailor a solution to every situation...
Yup. So in the absence of overwhelmingly strong evidence that kids are better off living off welfare in the home of a drug addicted parent than being separated from that parent, we should do the drug tests.