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A Practical Guide to Early Intervention and Family Support: Assessing Needs and Building Resilience in Families Affected by Parental Mental Health Problems or Substance Misuse

Sawyer, Emma.; Burton, Sheryl – 2016

Intended for practitioners and managers who are directly or indirectly involved in the provision of statutory or voluntary services to family members affected by parental mental health problems, parental substance misuse, or alcohol misuse, this handbook considers the concept of resilience and effective family support for families affected by mental health problems and substance misuse. Assessing the policy context and possible barriers to support, the book looks at the assessment of need, safeguarding children, minimizing negative impact, and keeping families together where possible. Chapter 1 provides contextual information relating to parental substance misuse and mental health problems in families, including definitions, prevalence, and the policy and legislative context. It ends with a brief discussion of current service responses in the United Kingdom for families in these circumstances. Chapter 2 explores the potential impact on children and families of parental mental health problems and/or substance misuse, and Chapter 3 explains the concept of resilience and highlights factors that can bolster families’ abilities to meet their children’s needs and improve the life chances for young people in adverse circumstances. Chapter 4 explores barriers to the provision of effective support to families affected by parental substance misuse or parental mental health problems. Difficulties and barriers at the practice level and at the strategic and service planning level are considered. Chapter 5 considers what is needed to make service responses more appropriate and supportive to families in these circumstances at the individual practice level, and Chapter 6 considers what is needed at the strategic level of service planning and organization. The book closes with a concluding summary of key messages and information on relevant organizations and resources that may assist in developing planning and practice.