From policy to implementation: Child and family sensitive practice in the alcohol and other drugs sector
Reflecting a broader international and national focus to support and protect children, there has been growing interest in the needs of alcohol and other drug (AOD) clients’ families and their children. The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) commissioned the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) to examine policy frameworks that support or restrict the effective implementation of child and family sensitive practices in the AOD sector. Child and family sensitive practice involves service providers addressing the client’s parental role and responsibilities and the needs of their children.
This recently published report provides a contextual background and a critique of current national and international policy, examines stakeholder views about policy and systems issues, presents details of evidence-based and consensus views regarding best practice, and outlines recommendations for successfully implementing child and family sensitive practice in AOD service settings. In undertaking this work, NCETA found a high degree of support for the concept of child and family sensitive practice. The increasing attention being directed to the identification of children, and in particular the risks children are exposed to, and to assigning responsibility for intervention was likely to have an impact on the provision of AOD services. However, responsibility for the children of those attending AOD services currently remains ambiguous and this impedes constructive and consistent responses across and within sectors.