Children affected by parental substance misuse

Families who experience problems with alcohol and drugs can face significant challenges.

Parents struggling with alcohol and drug issues may not be able to care adequately for their children. This puts their children at higher risk of harm or neglect. Affected families often require intensive support to help them stay safe, well and together. 

Our National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland sets out that all services working with families must consider the needs of children and their parents where vulnerability and protection needs are identified. This includes parental issues with alcohol and drugs. 

In December 2021, we published a framework to improve support for families affected by harms associated with substance use. This framework is in line with our national strategy to address alcohol and drugs harms. It sets out the importance of ensuring that all family members have access to support to meet their needs. 

Partnership Drugs Initiative (PDI) 

We work in partnership with Corra Foundation to fund the Partnership Drugs Initiative (PDI), which helps to deliver vital support to children and families affected by drug and alcohol issues. 

Since 2001 we have provided annual funding to PDI that has been matched by Corra Foundation. This means PDI has an annual budget of around £1,000,000 which goes directly to third sector services supporting children and families affected by alcohol and drugs. The PDI programme currently supports around 40 projects across Scotland.  

If you are concerned about a child or young person

Call 999 if they are in immediate danger

Call the police on 101 if you think a crime has been committed

More about reporting a concern and for advice and support

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