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What to do if you are worried about a child

Safeguarding Children Where Parents Misuse Substances

How children are affected

A parent's drug or alcohol use can cause concern about the welfare of children and is clearly a risk factor as evidenced by serious case reviews and research. Drug/alcohol use by themselves will not lead to a child being considered at risk of abuse or neglect. But professionals should positively identify why they think a parent’s drug/alcohol use is at a 'safe' or 'manageable' level and doesn't constitute a child protection issue. The long term effect of substance misuse may not be immediately apparent but the continued absence, emotional or physical unavailability of a parent through substance misuse can be very damaging to children.

Support for parents with dependency issues

All organisations we work with will treat parents and pregnant women who use drugs/alcohol in the same way as other parents who require their support and services in terms of their eligibility for services.

If you are an adult (over 18) and require support, please contact your local authority drug support networks below.  

West Berkshire: wberksadmin@swanswell.org or 0300 003 7025


Reading: reading@irispartnership.org.uk or 0118 955 7333


Wokingham: wokingham@smartcjs.org.uk or 0118 977 2022


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