Recovery from problematic alcohol and other drug use has been a national Scottish policy priority since 2008. The Partnership Drugs Initiative (PDI) Steering Group were concerned about the impact of parental recovery on children and young people and wanted to improve our understanding of their own recovery needs. We took an action learning approach to this work.
This project was carried out during 2015 and presents an insight into what we hear and what we currently know. This evidence, presented in the four supporting components, would suggest a disconnect between practitioners on the one hand, and children and young people and families on the other, in their understanding of what recovery means. Thought needs to be given to what is needed to find a common meaning of recovery, in a way that is meaningful and important to the child or young person. We must continually listen to their story if we are to meet their needs.
The recommendations within this resource include the recognition that a range of key players; children and young people, Partnership Drugs Initiative, Scottish Government, and those involved in planning services, have scope to build on this work for the future. Following reflection on the evidence gathered here, we hope it is recognised that a whole family approach is the model that can best provide practical and therapeutic support for a child, their parent/carer and the extended family. The whole family approach and understanding the implications of recovery on the child, should be central to any family model. Within it, space must be given for the child to feel listened to, and to understand and manage the changing dynamics and feelings associated with parental recovery from substance use.
The purpose of the project was to address specific gaps in knowledge, support and evidence, by using a participatory and consultative approach. The aim is to improve the support for children and young people whose parents are in recovery and look to:
- Increase awareness of the views from children and young people.
- Increase understanding of support needs for children and young people.
- Enhance practitioner skills to deliver supportive models based on evidence of need.
- Increase strategic planning and policy developments in this area.
- Increase applications to PDI that will recognise the needs and views of children and young people.
- Contribute to the improved long-term well-being for children and young people.
This report is rooted in listening and supported by an evidence review.
The full resource consists of four component parts:
- What we hear from the stories and experiences
- What practitioners tell us
- How young people could share their story
- What the evidence tells us