The short answer is no – you will not lose your children if you seek treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. But you might lose them if you do not get the help you need.
For parents or carers with substance abuse issues, the ongoing responsibility for their children or those for whom they care is a common barrier to seeking treatment and support.
Nonetheless, it is important to know that if you are suffering from addiction issues, it always a good idea to seek support. It will always be a good thing for your family.
Support Available for Parents
Depending on the severity of your drug dependence, this may mean a stay at a residential drug rehab facility, in which case, services offering guidance for those in your situation will be your best friend.
However, this situation is far more common than you might think and the laws that exist actually tend to support parents and carers.
While safeguarding the welfare of children is always a priority – part of this welfare includes that children are not separated from their parents unnecessarily.
Learn more about the services available.
What the Law Says…
Social services will only become involved if it has come to the attention of others that your lifestyle is causing harm to your children.
‘Harm’ is defined as“ill-treatment or the impairment of health or development, including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another”(Section 31(9) of the Children Act 1989, as amended by the Adoption and Children Act 2002).
If you have a multi-parent family, and/or trusted adults and family members can provide adequate care for your children so that their lives, including home care and school attendance, are not significantly disrupted, then no authorities whatsoever will be aware, let alone involved.
What are my options?
For many, however, the situation is not as straightforward as this. It is possible that you do not have full-time support that is readily available at home, or that child welfare authorities are already aware of your substance misuse issues.
In this situation, it may be the case that seeking treatment is required of you by law in order to keep your children.
To participate you do not have to give any personal information, to pay, or leave your daily life and there, you will find many others in situations like yours, offering solidarity and hope.