Children in Care and
Substance Misuse Problems
Outcomes for children looked
after by local authorities
Note
• The term ‘drug’ is used to refer to any psychotropic
substance, including illegal drugs, illicit use of
prescriptio...
Proportion of Looked After Children
identified with substance misuse problem
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
4.5
5.0
2...
Looked After Boys
0
200
400
600
800
1,000
1,200
1,400
Identified with
substance misuse
problem
Received
intervention
Refus...
Looked After Girls
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
Identified with
substance misuse
problem
Received
intervention
Refuse...
Number of Looked After Children indentified
with substance misuse problem, by age
0
200
400
600
800
1,000
1,200
9 years an...
Cross checking with PHE data
• The data presented here suggests that 950 looked
after young people received an interventio...
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Children in care in England and their identified substance misuse problems

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Children who are looked after by the state have additional risks in relation to substance misuse outcomes. This data collected by the Department for Education shows the number and proportion of looked after children who have been identified with substance misuse problems.

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Children in care in England and their identified substance misuse problems

  1. 1. Children in Care and Substance Misuse Problems Outcomes for children looked after by local authorities
  2. 2. Note • The term ‘drug’ is used to refer to any psychotropic substance, including illegal drugs, illicit use of prescription drugs and volatile substances. • Young people’s drug taking is often inextricably linked with the consumption of alcohol. Therefore the term ‘substance’ refers to both drugs and alcohol but not tobacco. • Substance misuse is defined as ‘intoxication by (or regular excessive consumption or and/or dependence on) psychoactive substances, leading to social, psychological, physical or legal problems’. It includes problematic use of both legal and illegal drugs (including alcohol when used in combination with other substances).
  3. 3. Proportion of Looked After Children identified with substance misuse problem 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 2011 2012 2013 % Boys Girls
  4. 4. Looked After Boys 0 200 400 600 800 1,000 1,200 1,400 Identified with substance misuse problem Received intervention Refused intervention Number 2011 2012 2013
  5. 5. Looked After Girls 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 Identified with substance misuse problem Received intervention Refused intervention Number 2011 2012 2013
  6. 6. Number of Looked After Children indentified with substance misuse problem, by age 0 200 400 600 800 1,000 1,200 9 years and under 10 to 12 years 13 to 15 years 16 to 17 years Number 2013
  7. 7. Cross checking with PHE data • The data presented here suggests that 950 looked after young people received an intervention in 2013. • Public Health England’s report on specialist drug and alcohol treatment services for young people identified 923 young people who received treatment in 2012/13 as being in care. • PHE also identify a further 1,477 who received treatment as being either in supported accommodation or young offenders. • They also suggest that a total of 2,275 referrals to specialist treatment from Social Care sources, of which 495 were from Looked After Children teams.

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