Family reunification support to inpatient parents in Western Cape substance abuse treatment centres: an explorative study
Lebuso, Brandon Ashley
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Parental substance abuse is a pervasive problem in South Africa and the Western Cape and places children at risk. These parents need inpatient treatment as they are dependent on drugs and alcohol, and it affects their ability to parent. Parents at substance abuse treatment centre are separated from their children and need family reunification support. According to the White Paper on Families (2013) and Guidelines on Reunification Services for Families (2012), family’s needs to be preserved and this can be done through promoting family reunification services within substance abuse treatment centre. The Guidelines on Reunification Services for Families (2012) provides a framework for social workers in substance abuse treatment centres to restore the well-being of families to regain self-reliance and optimal social functioning. The removal of the parent from their children may be traumatic for both parent and child. However, through engaging both parent and child through the process of family reunification may rebuild the relationship and address the parental substance abuse. Parents in treatment centres that are not being reunified with their children, may face the risk of relapse and children being at risk to abuse and neglect. Findings of the study indicate that parents want to improve their relationship with their children by having them part of the inpatient treatment programme. Inpatient social workers are providing parenting skills and family therapy to aid family reunification. However, inpatient social workers have experience challenges with family reunification, explaining that they do not experience the designated social workers as available and accessible and as a result affected family reunification of inpatient parents. The aim of the study is to explore and describe family reunification support available for inpatient parents at substance abuse treatment centres in order to promote family reunification. A qualitative approach was implemented utilizing a descriptive design. Data collection was done through semi-structed interviews and collages with 15 inpatient parents and three focus groups with 13 social workers at Western Cape substance abuse treatment centres. Section B consisted out of Article 1 and Article 2, that reflected the experiences and recommendation of inpatient parents and social workers on family reunification within substance abuse treatment centres.
- Health Sciences