Freedom of information response

Drug and alcohol misuse by a parent or carer

Publication date: 
Thursday 25 January 2024
  1. Please provide copy of all material held (i.e. guidance accessible to social workers on the specific subject and template referral forms) relating to the subject of dealing with: parents who potentially may have issues with drugs/substance misuse including criteria for when it is indicated that a toxicologist should be instructed to carry out an expert assessment.

Our Response

Practitioners use a number of resources/tools to support in their assessment of parental substance misuse. We do not hold a centralised folder of all the tools they would use.

Practitioners would refer parents/carers to a drug and alcohol service within their local area, with their consent, and would use the referral form for the respective service.

The use of Hair Strand Testing (HST) is considered as part of a legal planning meeting, and usually agreed as part of the pre-proceedings PLO, or care proceedings. HST may also be agreed as part of a child protection plan in some circumstances.

Request reference:
FOI 13322