National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

Help. Hope. Support.

Donate Today

Find Out How You Can Help

Perspectives on children’s experiences in families with parental substance misuse and child protection interventions

O’Connor, Louise.; Forrester, Donald.; Holland, Sally.; Williams, Annie. – 2014

This paper presents data from a Welsh mixed methods study of a service for families whose children were at risk of entering out-of-home-care due to parental substance misuse (out-of-home care is referred to as Local Authority Care in the UK). Three sources of data are drawn on to focus on the experiences of children and young people: interviews with a small number of young people, interviews with parents where they discussed their children’s experiences and measures of child and family functioning. The inclusion of qualitative data from two generations of families illustrates the complex interwoven nature of children’s and parents’ experiences. Analysis suggests that key messages for practitioners are the need to engage with substance using families in ways that avoid unhelpful binaries focusing on either the child’s or the adult’s needs. Children and young people may benefit from brief interventions during a period of crisis and longer term interventions which address cumulative effects and attachment complexities and promote sources of resilience.