Families that have alcohol and mental health problems: a template for partnership working

SCIE Guide 2

By Patricia Kearney, Enid Levin, Gwen Rosen and Mary Sainsbury

Published June 2003

About this guide

This guide is about delivering high quality, coordinated services to families with parents who misuse alcohol or who have mental health problems. It recognises that promoting the well-being of children and keeping them safe should be achieved, wherever possible, by providing support for parents in bringing up their children and by ensuring that children do not take on excessive or inappropriate caring roles in their family.


The guide encourages local authorities to adopt a protocol to further good practice and offers a template for agencies to use to develop better, more family-centred approaches to working with families with parents with alcohol and mental health problems.


The guide is aimed at senior managers in children's services and adults' services in local authorities. It is also aimed at senior managers in other services that may be involved with families with alcohol and mental health problems such as local health services.

Messages from the guide

Getting your protocol underway

Before developing your protocol:

Features of a protocol for partnership working


Other SCIE resources on families with parental mental ill health or drug and alcohol abuse that may interest you include:

SCIE also has a number of other resources on children's and families' services.