It is well documented that domestic abuse and mental health problems figure in a high number of cases that are known to social services. However, parental substance misuse is also high and the impact on children can have far reaching affects. Evidence tells us that children whose parents misuse alcohol and drugs can be affected in many ways, including an impact on their health and development. Indeed the child’s health can be impacted upon even before they are born.
In a recent article in Community Care, Mary Ryan of RyanTunnardBrown looked at the research into the impact of parental substance misuse on children. Substance misuse can lead to neglect, where the priority of the parent becomes the alcohol or drug, and therefore their parenting capacity is hindered. In turn, this can lead to it impacting on the child’s emotional and physical wellbeing.
Any assessment that is undertaken by the local Authority needs to be child-focused and looks at the needs, safety and welfare of the child living in the home as well as the parenting capacity of the adults. Unfortunately, even with intervention to keep the family together, when a parent(s) is unable to continue to safeguard their child, alternative care will need to be considered.
When a child is removed from their family, alternative care is always considered, for example; is the child able to be cared for by family or friends. If not, then foster care may be considered. This is why we need foster carers who can provide nurturing, patient and understanding care.
If you believe you have the skills and desire to become a foster carer, why not contact us at Sunbeam Pride Fostering on 01582 433 775.