In spring 2015 the Partnership Drugs Initiative (PDI) conducted a survey with practitioners from across Scotland; 207 responses were received. Responses were predominantly from the central belt and from practitioners working directly with children and young people. Although 25% of responses were from practitioners working directly with parents. From the responses it was apparent many of the children and young people supported were not living with their parents, particularly in the younger age group (0 –12).
The actual number of children and young people whose parents are in recovery in Scotland is unknown. In the survey, the practitioners were asked about children and young people’s awareness of their parent’s recovery status. Nearly all were aware of problematic use of drug and alcohol, but 62% of practitioners felt children and young people had limited understanding of recovery.
When asked about their own knowledge of parental drug or alcohol status practitioners generally had a good understanding, although it was concerning to note that 20% of practitioners were unaware of the current parental status. Change is the main factor in an individual’s recovery journey and these changes are important factors in a child or young person’s life. Observations from the practitioners noted many of the physical changes in the parent/home as well as parents being more available. These changes can still impact on a child/young person’s own needs and well-being, with a significant proportion of young people across all age groups concerned about relapse.