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Getting Our Priorities Right

DescriptionUpdated good practice guidance for all agencies and practitioners working with children, young people and families affected by problematic alcohol and/or drug use
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateApril 25, 2013


ISBN: 978 1 78256 489 8 (web only)
DPPAS 14033

This document is also available in pdf format (1.2MB)


Ministerial Foreword

Executive Summary


Chapter 1: Describing the Challenge

The guidance sets out the challenge of adult problematic alcohol or drug use, its possible impacts on children and families and how services should respond. It provides all child and adult service practitioners working with these vulnerable families - across the full range of sectors - with an overview of the supporting evidence base.

Chapter 2: Deciding When Children Need Help

This second chapter gives advice to services - including those services providing treatment and care to problem alcohol and/or drug using adults - about what to look for when gathering early information about vulnerable children and families. It describes wider issues that services should take into account as these often co-exist with problematic alcohol or drug use.

Chapter 3: Information Sharing

This third chapter outlines legal and practice considerations that services should take into account when the need to share information arises.

Chapter 4: Assessing Risks and Improving Outcomes

This fourth chapter describes the key stages in assessing and responding to identified concerns about children. It reflects the Getting It Right For Every Child practice model and the principles of early intervention and recovery.

Chapter 5: Working Together

This fifth chapter describes the importance of multi-agency working to deliver a co-ordinated response by services that identifies and meets all of the needs of children and families. These needs might extend beyond the problematic alcohol and/or drug use.

Chapter 6: Strategic Leadership and Workforce Development

This sixth chapter sets out expectations for strategic leaders and local planning fora to support both the planning and delivery of operational service.

Appendix 1: Children and Families at Risk of Blood-Borne Viruses

Appendix 2: Information on Consent to Share Information

Appendix 3: Information to be Considered as Part of Multiagency Assessment

Appendix 4: Incorporating Recovery - Outcome Measurements

Appendix 5 - Pre-Birth

Appendix 6: Terms of Reference for CPC/ADP Shared Arrangements