Children Affected by Parental Substance Misuse (CAPSM)

The CAPSM Group is a recognised sub-group with dual reporting arrangements of the North Ayrshire ADP and the Child Protection Committee (CPC), and links in with other strategic Community Planning groups, including Safer North Ayrshire Partnership (SNAP).

The CAPSM sub group work to improve the quality and accessibility to services for Children and Young People who are at risk due to the harmful effects of parental/ care giver alcohol and/or drug misuse.
The group are responsible for strengthening an understanding across agencies of the needs of children and young people affected by parental substance misuse and to support partners in developing an effective inter-agency response to children and young people affected by parental substance misuse.
Through diverse representation on the group this enhances communication links and of joint working between adult and children’s services. All developments in this area are aligned with the wider Getting it Right for every Child (GIRFEC) (see link) change agenda developments in North Ayrshire and that cognisance is taken of links to relevant strategies, including the Early Years Framework and the Parenting and Family Support Strategy.
Getting Our Priorities Right (GOPR) first published in 2003 and updated in 2013 (see link) provides an operational context for staff working in the field of addiction where they come into contact with children or staff working with children who come into contact with addiction issues.  The GOPR guidance has formed part of the local and regional child protection procedures and its recommendations and procedures resulted in an extensive and wide reaching multi agency training programme.
A comprehensive training calendar is delivered by the Child Protection Committee and ADP. (see training link within Info for staff section) One of those events involves the Solihull Approach, which focuses on the parent/child relationship and aims to improve parental sensitivity and responsiveness within the relationship. It is an early intervention model that can also be used for prevention and group work. The model incorporates three concepts of containment, reciprocity and behaviour management.
The GOPR policy and practice guideline for working with children and families affected by problem drug use acknowledged that not all families affected by problem drug use will experience difficulties. However the exposure of children and young people to the risks factors associated with parental substance misuse may have significant and damaging consequences. These can include children and young people not reaching their full potential at school, taking on the role of caregiver to young siblings or parent(s), being placed at physical risk, developing their own physical and mental health problems, including developing their own substance misuse issues. This policy has since been expanded to include families affected by alcohol misuse.

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