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The Impact of Parental Substance Misuse

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:
• Explore the complexities and myths of substance misuse vs addiction and behaviour
• Understand that addiction is a brain disorder – habit to addiction a slippery slope
• Explore the impact of substance misuse addiction on society/ family -who does it effect?
• Consider the impact on children (adverse childhood experiences) & parenting ability to include an awareness of the impact that substance misuse by a parent, and how this affects the child or young person and to understand the potential impact of substance misuse in pregnancy
• Explore how agencies can work with substance misuse / addiction in family interventions: risks / protective factors / child protection



BHSCP courses are now booked via the Learning Zone platform . 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.