Gap in social work degree under fire.

It is a “shocking oversight” that the new social work degree does
not include compulsory training about substance misuse, a lecturer
said last week.

Donald Forrester, of Goldsmiths College, University of London, said
that training in substance misuse for all children’s social workers
should be a priority because of the number of parents with drug and
alcohol problems.

Forrester, co-author of unpublished research, said it found that
social workers in four London social services departments had
little substance misuse training on their courses and hardly any
since qualifying.

He urged delegates at the Baaf Adoption and Fostering conference in
London to treat alcohol misuse by parents as seriously as drug

The first stage of the research found social workers acted more
urgently in cases involving drugs, despite the fact alcohol misuse
caused more harm to children.

Dr Di Hart, principal officer for children in public care at the
National Children’s Bureau, who was also speaking at the
conference, criticised some local authorities for placing babies
born with drug withdrawal syndrome on the child protection

Hart said that she did not think this was fair because medical
professionals did not allow women who misused drugs to detoxify
while pregnant because the process could cause foetuses to

However, detoxification during pregnancy is commonly used in the
USA where it prevents many babies being born with withdrawal

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