Over 100 Sheffield babies born to mothers with alcohol or drug addictions
More than 100 babies were born to mothers with drug or alcohol problems in Sheffield last year.
There were 128 babies born to mothers currently in treatment for drug or alcohol misuse; with ongoing problematic or dependent drug or alcohol use during pregnancy or where there was suspicion of drug use such as street sex workers.
Of these babies, 15 went into local authority care and 113 went home with their mother. The babies who stayed at home had plans in place and the family were supported by services.
Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board says support is being offered to families at an early stage, which gives the babies a better chance in life.
Staff in both children and adult services have had more training about how drugs and alcohol impacts on children.
“The increased awareness is demonstrated through requests by workers from all services for checks and advice regarding either substance misuse or safeguarding children,” says the board’s annual report 2018/19.
“Last year there were 1,302 requests for advice. Out of these 1,003 had children living with them.
“Many of them had had no previous contact with children’s social care, illustrating that substance misuse support is being offered to parents at an earlier stage, which evidence shows leads to better outcomes for children and their families.”
More work will be done to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy, how to identify Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and how to get support.
Staff are also doing masterclasses on cannabis use in pregnancy.