Tusla and HSE join forces to support children whose parents misuse alcohol and other drugs

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD and the Minister of State with responsibility for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD. Picture: Peter Houlihan/Photocall Ireland

Parents who misuse drugs and alcohol are putting their children's health, safety and life opportunities at risk.

That is according to TUSLA and the HSE who have come together to address the neglect a child may suffer if their carer is abusing substances.

There is a concern that children are invisible to addiction services that are trying to help their parents.

Children who experience parental substance misuse often live chaotic family lives and their home lives can be high in tension, aggression and unpredictability.

Aisling Gillen from Tusla said Tusla are working with adult services in the HSE to generate a more family-focused approach that considers the needs of children and other family members.

"Tusla aims to provide the right help at the right time through our diverse range of family support services.”

Commenting at today’s launch in Tallaght the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, said: “In order to protect, support and safeguard our children we must ensure those in the frontline are fully trained to spot signs of danger.

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

The Hidden Harm Strategic Statement, Practice Guide, and leaflet can be found here.

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