Published on March 3, 2014
Children in Need in England in 2013 Parental substance use and harms
Definition of a child in need Children Act 1989 defines a child as being in need if: • s/he is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision for him of services by a local authority; • his/her health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the provision for him of such services; or • s/he is disabled
Number of children in need, in England aged under 18 450,000 400,000 350,000 300,000 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000 0 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/characteristics-of-children-in-need-in-england-2012-to-2013
Important to remember... • Drinking or drug use by parents does not automatically mean they are poor parents. • Problematic use of drugs and alcohol is more likely to cause harm, and the types of drugs and the pattern of use are as likely to be as critical as the amounts consumed. • Cleaver, H. Unell, I & Aldgate, J. (2011) Children’s Needs – Parenting Capacity ; Child abuse: Parental mental illness, learning disability, substance misuse and domestic violence DfE
Children living with parents that misuse substances • Estimated that – 2–3% of children in England, under the age of 16 years, have parents who misuse drugs – more than 2.6 million children in the UK live with hazardous drinkers, 705,000 live with a dependent drinker https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/characteristics-of-children-in-need-in-england-2012-to-2013
But... The link between children in need and parental substance misuse is clear “...in more than half of the cases [of suspected child abuse ], families were experiencing a number of problems including mental illness or learning disability, problem drinking and drug use, or domestic violence.” Cleaver, H. Unell, I & Aldgate, J. (2011) Children’s Needs – Parenting Capacity ; Child abuse: Parental mental illness, learning disability, substance misuse and domestic violence DfE
Numbers of children in need by reason and sex 200,000 180,000 160,000 140,000 120,000 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 Male Female https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/characteristics-of-children-in-need-in-england-2012-to-2013
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