Scotland: Children Casualties of Drug Induced Family Breakdown

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Parents’ drug and alcohol abuse named among causes of family breakdown in Scotland

By BEN BORLAND March 10, 2018

A DAMNING new report has revealed the extent of the breakdown of family life for Scotland’s most troubled children over the past decade.

Families are more likely to breakup now than they were 10 years ago

The findings present a shocking picture of soaring drug and alcohol abuse, criminality and violence among today’s feckless parents.

Also, the number of children being taken into care has risen and families are more likely to be broken up by the state than they were a decade ago.

More generally, across the whole of Scotland, young people are facing more “complex” lives as a result of growing ethnic diversity and widespread drug and alcohol abuse.

Researchers from the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) took two sample groups of looked-after children, the first born in 2003 and the second born in 2013, and examined how their lives have changed.

They found the younger group were more likely to suffer “family fragmentation”, with more children living apart from their siblings and/or parents, instability as a result of the care system and “problem parents”.

Scotland’s most troubled children are those who suffer ‘family fragmentation’

It is clear we all need to work together to make changes to improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable children

Malcolm Schaffer, SCRA’s Head of Practice and Policy

The children born in 2013 were far more likely to have a parent who was a drug abuser, involved in offending, in prison, a victim or perpetrator of violence or suffering from isolation, bereavement or mental illness.

Underlining the importance of our Crusade for the Children of Alcoholics, 45 per cent of the younger group had a parent with an alcohol abuse problem – up from 43 per cent of those born in 2003.

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