Parental misuse of drugs or alcohol becomes relevant to child protection when the misuse of the substances impacts on the care provided to their child/ren.

Substance misuse may include experimental, recreational, poly-drug (use of more than one substance), chaotic and dependent use of alcohol and/or drugs.

Misuse of drugs and/or alcohol is strongly associated with significant harm to children, especially when combined with other features such as domestic violence, mental illness and should prompt careful consideration as to how best families can be supported and where necessary children/young people protected.

Children and young people can also place themselves at risk through their own use of drugs and/or alcohol. Such activity also increases their vulnerability to other forms of harm such as child sexual exploitation.

As with all concerns in respect of safeguarding children/young people, worries can never be shared too early and making contact with your line manager/agencies lead officers, the CAF Coordinator or directly with Bracknell Forest Children’s Social Care department will help you establish an appropriate response.

Advice in relation to drug and alcohol use if available for children, young people and adults and can be accessed at DAAT.

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