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Engaging child welfare-involved families impacted by substance misuse: Scottish policies and practices


  • Robertson, Anne S.
  • Haight, Wendy


Parental substance misuse occurs worldwide and child welfare professionals struggle with how to help parents involved with substance misuse while keeping their children safe. This study explores Scottish child welfare policies, beliefs and practices for engaging substance-involved families in child welfare services. Scottish approaches for engaging families are highly focused on child well‐being and relationship characteristics, prevention, resilience and recovery. Additionally, Scotland's devolution from the United Kingdom has created a rapidly changing political climate where considerable attention, new policies and initiatives have been directed toward Scottish problems and family well-being. Many of these strategies are designed to change a deeply embedded problem of substance misuse, and considerable effort and resources have been targeted for long-term change. Using a qualitative mixed-methods approach that incorporates in-depth interviews, observations, and document review this paper examines Scottish child welfare experts' experiences of working with parents impacted by substance misuse and the impact of new policies and programs. These initiatives are important to examine because, if successful, they may be helpful for understanding relational characteristics in other cultural contexts particularly those using holistic and differential approaches in child welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Robertson, Anne S. & Haight, Wendy, 2012. "Engaging child welfare-involved families impacted by substance misuse: Scottish policies and practices," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1992-2001.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:10:p:1992-2001
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.06.006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aldgate, Jane & Hill, Malcolm, 1995. "Child welfare in the United Kingdom," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 575-597.
    2. Haight, Wendy & Jacobsen, Teresa & Black, James & Kingery, Linda & Sheridan, Kathryn & Mulder, Cray, 2005. ""In these bleak days": Parent methamphetamine abuse and child welfare in the rural Midwest," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 949-971, August.
    3. anonymous, 2011. "Focus on Authors," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(2), pages 385-388, 03-04.
    4. Choi, Sam & Ryan, Joseph P., 2007. "Co-occurring problems for substance abusing mothers in child welfare: Matching services to improve family reunification," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1395-1410, November.
    5. anonymous, 2011. "Focus on Authors," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(1), pages 187-190, 01-02.
    6. Sheridan, Kathryn & Haight, Wendy L. & Cleeland, Leah, 2011. "The role of grandparents in preventing aggressive and other externalizing behavior problems in children from rural, methamphetamine-involved families," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1583-1591, September.
    7. anonymous, 2011. "Focus on Authors," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(3), pages 562-564, 05-06.
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    Cited by:

    1. O'Connor, Louise & Forrester, Donald & Holland, Sally & Williams, Annie, 2014. "Perspectives on children's experiences in families with parental substance misuse and child protection interventions," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 66-74.


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