There are growing concerns regarding child wellbeing and protection across many countries. This paper assesses the legitimacy of these concerns in the Australian context and explores the relationship between alcohol and other drugs (AOD) use by parents and child wellbeing and protection. The paper considers evidence on the relationship between AOD use by parents and child wellbeing and protection. It examines the potential role of the AOD sector in child welfare outcomes, in the context of social determinants of health. To date, relatively little attention has been directed towards the relationship between AOD misuse and both child and adolescent wellbeing and protection matters, although the AOD sector has an important preventative role for child and adolescent wellbeing and protection. Intersectoral and Family Sensitive Policy and Practices within AOD services are important to this 'secondary prevention' role, however there are many barriers to the achievement of such strategies. Developments in Family Sensitive Policy and Practice must be intersectoral and will require additional resources. Cross-sectoral workforce development and retention strategies, which include training in child development theories and approaches in the AOD sector, and addressing stigmatizing attitudes towards parenting AOD clients across sectors, are also necessary.
- Alcohol and other drugs
- Child welfare