Where are the children?: Addiction workers’ knowledge of clients’ offspring and related risks

Russell, L., Gajwani, R. , Turner, F. and Minnis, H. (2023) Where are the children?: Addiction workers’ knowledge of clients’ offspring and related risks. International Journal on Child Maltreatment, (doi: 10.1007/s42448-023-00158-9) (Early Online Publication)

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Parental substance use can harm and increase risk to children. Accurate reporting and monitoring by addiction staff is essential to support and protect families and children. The caseloads of 8 nurses and 12 social care workers (736 service users) were reviewed for offspring related information. 62.8% of service users were parents, 38.3% of those being parents of children aged 16 years and under. Data were available on 913 offspring, 475 (52%) aged 16 or under. 32% of the total offspring sample, and of the 16 and under sample, lived with a family member who was not the parent receiving treatment and had no social work involvement. Seven offspring (0.8%) were deceased—a two-fold increase in mortality rate compared to the general population, highlighting the increased risk of harm experienced by the offspring of this group of parents. In the records of 53 parents (11.5%; 68 children), there was a discrepancy between the electronic records and staff knowledge about children aged 16 and under. Of these 68 children, 56 (11.8%) were recorded on the electronic system but not reported by the care manager, and 12 (2.5%) were only reported by the care manager but were not recorded on the electronic system. Worryingly, there might also be children who are neither on electronic systems nor known to staff. Due to these discrepancies in recording and the increased risks to these children, we recommend that addiction staff routinely asks service users if they are parents and who provides care for their children.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Minnis, Professor Helen and Turner, Ms Fiona and Russell, Dr Lynda and Gajwani, Dr Ruchika
Authors: Russell, L., Gajwani, R., Turner, F., and Minnis, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:International Journal on Child Maltreatment
ISSN (Online):2524-5244
Published Online:07 March 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal on Child Maltreatment 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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