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This course is the second in a suite of parental substance use courses. The first course, The Impact of Parental Substance Use on the Child: Foundation, should be completed first.

This course examines preventative opportunities and entry points to promote children’s mental health with parents in the context of parental substance use. It provides examples of conversations with parent-clients who are using substances in ways that affect the social and emotional wellbeing of their children.

The course will provide you with a conversation guide, which is easily incorporated into your current practice, to assist your work with parents who are affected by substance use. This guide recognises the challenges for practitioners in working with presentations of substance use. It also recognises the importance of making children’s safety and social and emotional wellbeing visible in all services.

This course is aimed at both practitioners in the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) sector and all generalist practitioners in adult-focused services who engage with parent-clients experiencing issues with substance use.

It recognises the significant proportion of parents who present to services who also have substance use issues, and the interrelated nature of substance use and mental health concerns, financial difficulties, family and domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and child protection issues.

The language used in this resource aims to be strength-based and to avoid further stigmatising an already highly stigmatised population. Therefore, this resource will refer to ‘substance use’ as a broad descriptor of substance misuse, harmful or problematic use of substances, or dependence or addiction to substances.