The evidence base
Not all parents who drink or take drugs harm their children. However, substance misuse is identified as a concern for at least one-fifth of children in need in England (Department for Education, 2017) and for around two-fifths of children on a child-protection register in Scotland and Wales (Scottish Government, 2018; Welsh Government, 2017).
> Find out more about the impact of parental substance misuse
Substance misuse is often one of a number of difficulties faced by families, and these multiple adversities present a cumulative risk to children (Manning et al, 2009; Patwardhan et al, 2017; NSPCC, 2018). Integrated models, such as the ecological model used by Parents Under Pressure, allow for a whole-system approach, which is suited to addressing complex and multiple problems (Davidson, Bunting and Webb, 2012).
Parents Under Pressure was first developed in Australia for delivery to parents in drug treatment with a child aged 2- to 8-years-old. In Australia, it’s been shown to help keep children safe and enable parents to build better relationships with their children (Dawe and Harnett, 2007; Barlow et al, 2013; Dalziel et al, 2015). We have adapted the programme to work with younger children, as research suggests they are particularly vulnerable to abuse (Cuthbert et al, 2011).