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Information for Substance Misuse Services and Practitoners

Substance Misuse Services and Safeguarding Children

Children and families affected by drug / alcohol misuse was the central theme of the National Drugs Strategy 2008 (Home Office 2008). It recognised that substance misuse can limit effective parenting and therefore have a significant and long term impact on children and families. 

To limit the negative affect of substance misuse on children, young people and families the National Drugs Strategy recommended:

  • Providing prompt access to treatment for all substance misusing parents requiring treatment and ensuring all assessments take account of the needs for the whole family.
  • A package of interventions with a family focus, including improving parenting skills, reducing risk factors for children, supporting families to stay together.
  • Establishing robust protocols between the Local Safeguarding Children Boards and Substance Misuse Services, to ensure the needs of children are identified early and appropriate interventions put in place.

In response to the National Drugs Strategy, safeguarding children leads were identified in each substance misuse service in Sheffield.

The safeguarding children leads from the substance misuse service meet with the Safeguarding Children Substance Misuse Service regularly. This ensures new guidance relating to safeguarding children is easily embedded into current working practice including:

  • Safeguarding children protocols for substance misuse services endorsed by Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board.
  • Specific templates on which to collect information relating to children whose parents misuse drugs / alcohol and guidance relating to the safeguarding children.
  • Safeguarding children competency check list for substance misuse services.
  • Health visitor notification process

All the documents listed above are available to download from our Tools and Resources Page.

 

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