Alcohol, Drugs and Substance Misuse

The fostering and adoption team has an expectation that carers will behave responsibly in the use of alcohol in the presence of children.


It should not be possible for children and young people to gain access to alcohol in the carers' home without the permission of the carer.

If it is found that a carer is, or has been drunk in sole care of a child, a strategy discussion will be held and a decision will be made as to whether it is appropriate for the carer to continue fostering.

Carers should drink responsibly, within the UK Government guidelines 14 units per week for women and 21 units for men.


It is expected that carers will act as good role models at all times. This means that illegal drugs will not be permitted. Prescribed medication should be stored in a safe place.

Under no circumstances should carers provide illegal drugs to children.  Illegal drugs should not knowingly be held in a carer's home.  If the carer finds illegal drugs on their premises then they should notify the fostering and adoption team immediately.

Clothing should not advertise the misuse of drugs.

Support for young people

Foster carers can provide information to young people regarding the influence and harmful effects that can arise from consuming alcohol.

Young people over 16 years of age may drink alcohol under supervision of the foster carer where appropriate. Foster carers should always ensure that young people drinking alcohol in their presence do so responsibly.

Young people will be discouraged from taking drugs or misusing other substances and foster carers will give information and advice regarding the harmful effects of illegal drugs.

Where a young person has a known substance misuse or drug problem, the fostering and adoption team and the child's social worker will encourage and support them by directing them to appropriate sources of help.

Actions (should it be suspected that carers have not followed this policy)

TaskResponsible officerRecordTimescale
If it suspected that carers have been acting against this policy, child's social worker is consulted and a decision made regarding further investigation and whether child protection procedures need to be followed or training issues identified and actioned.Fostering and adoption team manager and child care team managerCarers file, child's fileImmediately
Following investigation, decision made regarding whether to refer to panel.Fostering and adoption team managerCarers file child's fileWithin 5 working days of completion of investigation
Send a letter to the carers informing them of the outcome of the investigation and inform child's social worker.Fostering and adoption team managerCarers file child's fileWithin 2 working days