The major goal of this assignment is to explore the effects of parental substance misuse on children. It will analyse the experiences encountered by children who are brought up in such like families and how social workers could intervene in helping children. The study will analyse the children’s experiences from a larger context (international perspective) while emphasizing on the Children’s act 1989 and the Mental Capacity Act of 2005 ( ).

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Considering the deprivation of some of the children’s needs owing to parental substance misuse, social workers together with the support of the government have been encouraged to assist in helping children who are victims of such circumstances.

Overview Summary

The first chapter of this assignment will explore the effects parental substance abuse on children and discuss the dilemmas social workers face in protecting these children. The second chapter will outline the resources that were previously utilised by other authors on the same subject area of discussion. It will therefore provide a significant background of information that will help other readers to acquire better knowledge and understanding of the subject area under discussion, which is, the impact of parental substance misuse on children. Chapter three of the assignment will focus on the research method, which will refers to the methods that will be used by the researcher to exercise the entire research work.

Background of the study

Substance misuse refers to the use of prohibited drugs as well as the incorrect use of prescribed medicinal drugs, alcohol and other drug elements such as solvents. The term misuse refers to the act of utilising something in a way that results to problem or a situation that causes harm to the individual, other people or both.

Parental substance misuse especially drugs and alcohol often creates considerable problems for most of the young people (children). While the effects of drug and alcohol abuses are almost similar, the former brings itself more anxiety and social stigma whereas the latter is associated with violence and ineffective parental care.

It evident that parental substance abuse has negatively impacted on children and most families. Studies of samples of child abuse cases have frequently shown that parental substance use is associated with child maltreatment (Dunn et al., 2002).

Parental stress and low frustration tolerance are often cited as a reason for child abuse and neglect, but other factors such as inadequate parenting skills, social isolation, and the behaviour of the children are likely contributors to substance affected parents’ physical and emotional abuse and neglect of their children (Ammerman et al, 1999). This notion has raised concern on appropriate policy to be formulated that could eliminate such problem posed to children. For example in the United Kingdom, parental substance abuse has elicited varied concerns. The recent estimate is that 2-3% of all children under the age of 16 years have parents with drug and substance abuse problems (Hill, 2011)

According to ( ), a significant number of children brought up in such families often feel that their childhood years was shortened through having to assume early responsibilities for their own and that of siblings for the personal wellbeing. Cleaver et al (2008) argues that, ‘A sense that parents did care for their children when they did not care for them helped them keep going’. Such children are also most likely to develop informal relationships with the extended family members and friends to cater for the loss love and care from their parents. These formed relationships are seldom of help to the children as the supports are unreliable or conditional (HM Government, 2006).

Rationale of the project

The researcher did consider having this topic of research in order to explore and understand the conditions in which children are subjected to by parents who misuse drugs. It is also an essential requirement for students pursuing this course to write a project proposal which will constitute of their final grading.

This assignment will therefore focus on the impact of parental substance misuse on children and it will also discuss the challenges that social workers face while protecting these children. The findings from this study will be analysed and evaluated in order to provide tentative solutions towards the problem. Considering the increasing rates of parental substance abuse across various parts of the world, it is essential for researchers to determine the factors behind substance abuse and how it affects various families. Consequently we will have an in depth knowledge of situations that children in these families are subjected to by their parents who misuse drugs.

Aims of the study

The aim of this project is to explore the effects of parental substance abuse on children and to discuss the dilemmas social workers face in protecting children of substance misusing parents. This study will critically analyse various literatures sources to highlight the challenges that children experience while staying with parents who misuse drugs and other substances.