Identifying, assessing and supporting children affected by parental drug and alcohol misuse: A UK comparison

Louise E Hill, Anne Stafford

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Abstract / Description of output

This briefing paper critically explores the development of policy, with a focus on identification, assessment and support, for children affected by parental drug and alcohol misuse across the United Kingdom. Historically child welfare policies and drug and alcohol policies have been distinctly separate. Drug and alcohol policies have identified children as a concern due to their own use of substances, rather than being affected by another person’s use. In 2003, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) produced a seminal inquiry report, Hidden Harm: Responding to the needs of children of problem drug users. This report highlighted the prevalence, impact and support needs of children of problem drug users across the UK. In 2007, ACMD produced a follow-up report monitoring progress across the UK. Across the four nations, child welfare legislation outlines the role of the state in supporting children and families in need. Under the Children Act 2004 (England and Wales), the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 and the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, children affected by parental drug and/or alcohol misuse may be identified a ‘child in need’ and potentially a ‘child at risk of significant harm’.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe University of Edinburgh/NSPCC Child Protection Research Centre
Commissioning bodyUniversity of Edinburgh/NSPCC Child Protection Research Centre
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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