Working with alcohol and other drug services
Alcohol and other drugs services that support parents through treatment and recovery will have the opportunity to see progress and monitor changes. This includes being able to see risks and protective factors for children.
It is useful to make and maintain contact with the alcohol and other drugs services as they provide help for the parents.
Help alcohol and other drug professionals understand both the parent’s and child’s perspectives
- Talk about a family-centred approach and how you can partner together for the child and family.
- Help alcohol and drug professionals understand the specific ways a child is being hurt and how a collaborative approach can help children and parents.
- Help other professionals connect with a parent’s role. Let them know how they can support parents in their relationships with their children and why it is important.
Helping other professionals see risks for children
When speaking with alcohol and other drug providers:
- Be clear about the harm and the worries you have for the child.
- Explain how to recognise these and what should be done.
Talk with alcohol and other drugs services to understand their experience with identifying risks for children that stem from problematic substance use.
A parent’s problematic substance use can affect a child or create risks that are both immediately visible or appear over time. Give service providers access to guides on supporting parents and identifying developmental trauma such as the Child Development and Trauma Guide.
Tips for working with other service professionals
- Be clear about everyone’s role and responsibilities.
- Collaborate and be clear about what information needs to be shared, who it needs to be shared with, how it will be shared and when by. Remember to ask for the parent’s consent prior to sharing information.
- Make sure professionals you involve in case planning have the capacity and resources to do what you need from them. Do not assume that, because a service is involved, they will be able to do what you need.
- Ensure parents know what kind of information or conversations will be shared between a service and you. This is integral to developing and keeping their trust and making them feel safe.
- Look for opportunities to talk with parents and their families together with other service providers.
- Be clear with services about how risks for children will be monitored.
- Consult and draw on the expertise that alcohol and other drugs professionals can offer. This can build an understanding about suitable treatment options and what supports parents need.
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