Domestic abuse (also called domestic violence) is a crime and a major social problem affecting many families. In 90% of reported domestic abuse incidents, children have either been present in the same or a nearby room.
The Government definition of domestic abuse changed on 1st April 2013. To view this definition and for further information on dealing with domestic abuse take a look at our child protection procedures.
The National Treatment Agency for Substance Abuse estimates that around 200,000 adults are currently receiving treatment for substance misuse problems, and of these one third are parents who have children living with them.
Shropshire's Safeguarding Children Board and the Drug and Alcohol Partnership have developed a joint working protocol which seeks to meet the needs of children and young people affected by parental drug/alcohol misuse.
Further information can also be found in our child protection procedures.
Parental mental ill health
Parental mental illness can significantly impact on family life. All the members of the family are affected if someone in the family has mental illness, but research shows that children are especially vulnerable. Where a parent has enduring and/or severe mental ill-health, children in the household are more likely to be at risk of, or experiencing, significant harm.
Parental mental illness doesn't necessarily have an adverse impact on a child's developmental needs, but it's essential to always assess its implications for each child in the family.
An Ofsted thematic report, What About the Children? (March 2013), explored how well adult mental health services and drug and alcohol services considered the impact on children when their parents or carers had mental ill health and/or drug and alcohol problems, and how effectively adult and children's services worked together to safeguard children in these circumstances.
The report states that:
- At any one time it's estimated that as many as nine million adults - one in six of the population - experience mental ill health. It's estimated that 30% of adults with mental ill health have dependent children
There are further useful resources in our 'Useful links' section.