Substance misuse amongst looked after children

We know that being in care is a risk factor for substance misuse so I’ve been looking at the  DfE figures on outcomes for looked after children, which (if I’ve read them properly) suggest that:

  • 1 in 20 of those young people who got a drug treatment was a Looked After Child.

The last figures that the NTA released on youth substance misuse treatment numbers reported that 20,688 under 18s accessed specialist support in 2011/12, of whom 1,030 were Looked After Children between the ages of 10 and 18 years.

Doing some (very rough) maths I figure that there is a ratio of 1:240 10 to 18 year olds (in the general population) accessing a treatment service; in the looked after population this ratio falls to 1:29.

The DfE report that of the 1,880 assessed as needing an intervention 1030 received one, 580 refusing treatment and 270 cases where the outcome isn’t recorded.

What this data can’t tells us is:

  • Whether earlier interventions were tried
  • Why 30% refused an intervention (and the outcome for 14% is unrecorded)
  • Whether the system is good at identifying young people needing treatment
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One thought on “Substance misuse amongst looked after children

  1. Pingback: Alcohol and Drug Training for Social Workers | Mentor Thinks

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