Summary of risk factors and learning for improved practice around parents with substance misuse problems
Case reviews highlight that professionals often focus on the issues faced by parents who misuse substances without considering the impact on their children. Substance misuse by a parent or carer is widely recognised as one of the factors that puts children more at risk of harm. The biggest risk posed to children is that parents, when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are unable to keep their child safe (including overlay through co-sleeping and accidents caused through lack of supervision).
Many of the learning and recommendations contained in the serious case reviews repeat lessons from numerous other reviews. Reviews emphasise that professionals need to conduct child-centred assessments, and continue to reassess the potential risks that children in substance misusing households face.
Published: November 2013