This research aims to carry out qualitative research to underpin the development of a new internet-based intervention to prevent alcohol use and related harms aimed at year 9 students.
January 2018 - April 2019
Safeguarding children affected by parental substance misuse: developing parenting interventions to support non-using parents
Research Team: Dr Ruth McGovern, Professor Eileen Kaner, Dr Jamie Brown, Dr Penny Buykx, Mr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Ms Viv Evans, Dr Kate Fleming, Professor Matt Hickman, Professor John Macleod & Professor Petra Meier
Who's involved: Fuse, University College London, University of Sheffield, LiLaC & University of Bristol
April 2018 - September 2019
Parental substance misuse is a major public health and child protection concern, which has recently gained much policy interest. Children who live with a substance misusing parent have a greater risk of health, psychological and social problems.
Children whose parents misuse alcohol and drugs are nine times as likely to be placed in Local Authority care by their seventh birthday as those children whose parents do not misuse substances. Further, these early childhood experiences have a negative impact upon health and wellbeing into adulthood; replicating risk factors within their own parenthood, with great impact upon the public purse.
In England, 394,400 children were assessed as ‘children in need’ in 2015-16; 19% were at risk due to illicit drug misuse and 18% due to alcohol misuse. However, many families do not receive help to address parental substance misuse.
When families do receive an intervention, this is typically a referral to individually-focused drug and alcohol treatment for the substance misusing parent. There are currently no evidence-based interventions delivered to support non-using parents who represent a protective factor in families. This is a missed opportunity to help improve outcomes for children as addressing the impact of parental substance misuse could potentially have lasting benefits for children and wider society.
This research project will look at parenting interventions which may be adapted for non-substance misusing parents and caregivers within families where one parent misuses substances. This work will inform an application for funding to examine intervention effectiveness within children’s safeguarding services.