Understanding Need and Challenging Perceptions of Family Functioning in Relation to Parental Substance Use and Misuse

William McGovern, Ruth McGovern*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


It is dangerous in relation to practice and safeguarding to conclude that risks exist, or do not exist, in relation to a particular type of parental behaviour and family functioning. Using parental alcohol use as an illustrative topic this chapter explores definitions of alcohol use, the significance of parental use and the mechanisms and ways it is believed alcohol use leads to harms and then affects children and their educational experiences. In doing so this chapter recognises that it can be challenging and difficult to identify different thresholds of harms and risk from parental substance use alone. It also recognises and concludes by critically reflecting on the role teachers and educational staff have to play in assessing need, reducing pupil and parental stigma and shame around alcohol use, understanding the position of the parent and what children need to encourage their involvement and discussion around concerns like parental alcohol use.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Safeguarding for Children and Their Educational Experiences
Subtitle of host publicationA guide for Students, ECT's and School Support Staff
EditorsWilliam McGovern, Aidan Gillespie, Helen Woodley
Place of PublicationCroydon
ISBN (Electronic)9781802627114
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2022

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