Journal Article

Working with Parental Substance Misuse: Dilemmas for Practice

Andy Taylor and Brynna Kroll

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 34, issue 8, pages 1115-1132
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Working with Parental Substance Misuse: Dilemmas for Practice

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The impact of parental substance misuse on child welfare is now being increasingly recognized. Drug and alcohol problems feature in a substantial proportion of families where there are child-care concerns and raise issues about engagement, confidentiality, assessment and inter-agency practice. This article explores some of the dilemmas faced by social welfare professionals who work with substance misusing parents. Based on a qualitative analysis of 40 semi-structured interviews with a wide range of practitioners from both adult focused and child and family settings, in both the voluntary and statutory sector, a variety of emerging themes will be discussed and linked to those from other studies. The problems of working with denial, the tensions created by different agency objectives and protocols and the way in which children can often fall through gaps in services will be highlighted, as will the way in which some professionals have sought to resolve the dilemmas they encounter. This will then be used as a basis for beginning to look at constructive ways forward in relation to training, interprofessional and inter-agency communication and service delivery.

Keywords: Substance misuse; assessment; inter-agency practice

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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