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North East – Impact of Parental Mental Ill Health and Substance misuse workshops

We carried out a series of workshops for a joint Local Safeguarding Board as they had identified that parental mental ill health and/or substance misuse feature significantly as a causal factor in a child being identified as suffering from neglect. They wanted to both understand and assess, the effectiveness of the response to issues created by families suffering from parental mental ill health and/or substance misuse across 2 LA areas.

We provided workshops across a range of partners including social services, men Mental Health; Drug & Alcohol Services; MIND; Psychology Services; GP’s; Pharmacists; Accident & Emergency; Police; Youth Offending; National Probation Service; a Rehabilitation Company, Children’s Hub; Health Visiting; School Nursing; Midwifery; education and managers from across these services. The aim of the workshops was:

  • To explore the views of front-line practitioners when working together to address parental mental ill-health and/ or substance misuse.
  • To explore any barriers to working together both within children’s services and adult services (including substance misuse services, acute mental health trusts, other mental ill-health providers and acute trusts, primary care, etc).
  • To explore whether staff have the correct skills to ask the right and difficult questions around parental mental health and/or substance misuse.
  • To explore whether existing processes when dealing with parental mental ill-health and/ or substance misuse are working.

We presented findings in a report format for the LSCB.

‘Thank you for the work that you have undertaken which gives us insight into workers challenges and practice issues. I am confident that the Safeguarding Partnership will be able to build upon this work as it defines its approach to supporting workforce develop.’ PH Commissioner