HSE and Tusla launch new training to help children whose parents misuse drugs and alcohol

HEALTH and social service staff will be offered new training in how to handle cases of children whose parents, or guardians, suffer from misuse of alcohol or other drugs.

Tusla and the HSE have today jointly launched a practice guide named ‘Seeing Through Hidden Harm to Brighter Futures’.

A ‘hidden harm’ information leaflet for practitioners has also been published.

The adverse experience of children living with, and impacted by, parental substance misuse has been termed hidden harm because these children are often unknown to services, and they suffer harm due to compromised parenting.

More than 1,700 social workers and 400 addiction staff have been scheduled for training over the next two years.

It is estimated that up to 1.4 million people in Ireland have a harmful drinking pattern.

“In order to protect, support and safeguard our children we must ensure those in the frontline are fully trained to spot signs of danger,” said Children’s Minister, Katherine Zappone.

“Everyone providing care, support and protection to children and young people needs to be aware of Hidden Harm and know how to respond.

“This partnership between Tusla and the HSE is to be welcomed.”

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