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

Anne S. Robertson, Wendy Haight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1992-2001
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Addiction
  • Child welfare
  • Child well-being
  • Children's panels
  • Relational social work
  • Scotland


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