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Promoting good outcomes for children in need where there is parental substance misuse

Report, case studies | March 2008

This paper was published in response to demand from local authority commissioners for research and best practice findings on how to promote good outcomes for children in need. It provides a starting point for commissioners seeking to develop understanding of ‘what works’ in supporting children in need and their families, where there is problem parental substance misuse. It also identifies challenges for the range of strategic planners and commissioners.

The paper establishes that problem substance misuse can impact families in many ways and examines the issues in its national context, with reference made to specific guidance and initiatives. There is an outline of key messages on the extent and impact of parental problem drug use, the benefits of effective interventions and how services can work to achieve them.

Overall indicators about services aimed at reducing the impact of parental substance misuse are discussed, and a range of beneficial child-focused interventions noted, as well as tiers of need and interventions, and the importance of tailoring local services to meet needs across all tiers. A wide range of case studies are offered as illustration.