Abuse, Care, Carers, Child Protection, Childhood, Early Intervention, Praxis, Protecting Our Children, Research, Safeguarding, Social Care, Social Care Debate, Social Work, Social Work Debate

Evaluation of an intensive family preservation service for families affected by parental substance misuse – @SWSCmedia Debate

Picture courtesy of Wisdomquarterly.blogspot.co.uk

This is the one of the four research papers for today’s debate on: “Parental Substance Misuse: Messages from Research”

Title of the paper: Evaluation of an intensive family preservation service for families affected by parental substance misuse


Parental misuse of drugs or alcohol is recognised to be an issue for a high proportion of families to known social services, and for many children who enter care. However, there is limited research on what is effective in working with such families. This article reports on an evaluation of an Intensive Family Preservation Service (named ‘Option 2’) aimed at families in which parents misuse substances and children are considered at risk of entering care. The study used mixed methods. A quasi-experimental element compared solely data relating to care entry (e.g. how long children spent in care and its cost) for Option 2 children (n = 279) and a comparison group of referrals not provided with the service (n = 89) on average 3.5 years after referral. It found that about 40 per cent of children in both groups entered care, however Option 2 children took longer to enter, spent less time in care and were more likely to be at home at follow-up. As a result, Option 2 produced significant cost savings. A small-scale qualitative element of the study involved interviews with 11 parents and seven children in eight families. The findings suggested that Option 2 was a highly professional and appreciated service. For some families it achieved permanent change. For others, particularly those with complex and long-standing problems, significant positive changes were not sustained. The implications for services designed to prevent public care, particularly where there are substance misuse issues, are discussed and recommendations for policy and evaluation made.

Here is the summary of the debate and you can read the full paper here.



No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join us on Twitter & enjoy our Live Twitter Debates


%d bloggers like this: