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The Impact of Parental Substance Misuse

This course is currently under review.

Why is the BHSCP providing this course?

There is evidence of parental substance misuse in 57% of serious case reviews (of serious or fatal child abuse).   Serious Case Reviews highlight that professionals often focus on the issues faced by parents who misuse substances without considering the impact on their children.

Not all parents who misuse substances (drugs and alcohol) are likely to cause harm to their children, but it can reduce their ability to provide practical and emotional care. Some of the serious effects of parental substance misuse for children include abuse, neglect, emotional problems, educational difficulties, being young carers of parents or siblings, and a potential to later use drugs or alcohol themselves.

This course is included within the training programme as it clearly highlights these issues facing children and young people who live within the households where substance misuse is an issue. You will learn about what agency services are available to support the whole family, thus reducing or removing the potential risk/s of abuse.

Target Audience:

Professionals in children’s or adult services who may undertake, or be involved in the assessment or intervention within families where a parent or carer may have a substance misuse issue.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To understand the potential impact of substance misuse in pregnancy.
  • To provide an awareness of the impact that substance misuse by a parent, and how this affects the child or young person.
  • To discuss how parental misuse of substances may affect their abilities to parent appropriately.
  • To consider the potential risk factors, and what protective measures can be used to safeguard, using a multi-agency approach.
  • To enable a fuller awareness of local treatment/support is available.


BHSCP courses for April and May 2024 are now live and can be booked via the Learning Zone platform and courses for the rest of the year will be live on Learning Zone by the end of April 2024. Agency Leads have been contacted requesting account information requirements for professionals who will require a Learning Zone account to view and book training from April.  Once an account has been created for individuals they will receive an activation email from the Learning Zone.  If you need a Learning Zone account and haven’t yet requested one please email .

Training is free for Children’s Services staff, school staff, foster carers, community/voluntary sector groups, BHCC contracted organisations in Children’s Services, statutory health organisations, police and probation and all early years (including private early years) who are working in Brighton & Hove. For private organisations and those working outside the city the cost is £120.

Click here to return to our Multi-Agency Training page.