The Fostering Network Wales has submitted its response to the Welsh Government’s Health and Social Care Committee inquiry into substance misuse, recommending a range of measures including the provision of core training for foster on how to recognise signs of substance misuse.
Emily Warren, director of The Fostering Network Wales, said: “Looked after children and care leavers, remain some of the most vulnerable children and young people when it comes to potential substance misuse. Foster carers are well placed to provide drug education and support to Looked after children and young people around drug use and other related risky activity.
“Foster carers who are caring for children in stable placements are more likely to pick up on the signs that a young person might be using drugs, as they are with them 24/7 and will be familiar with their routines. They may be the only adult perceived as dependable or reliable in the lives of some young people.
“Substance misuse has often played a part in children’s life before they enter the care system so it is important that foster carers are armed with the tools to enter into discussions about substance abuse. Developing trust and discussing issues around drugs is not always easy, but children and young people who talk openly about drugs are able to make more informed choices with regard to their use. Foster carers should be supported in this role.”
You can view our full response, including further recommendations, on our website.