Against the Clock – Parental Substance Misuse, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and Beyond
To teach about parental substance misuse from various medico-legal contexts.
Suitable for: Solicitors, Barristers, Expert Witnesses, Psychologists, Social Workers, Psychiatrists, Paediatricians, Medical
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Teachers and trainers (4)
Dr Raja Mukhergee
Dr. Alyson Smith
Executive Director, NOFAS UK
Speakers:District Judge Nicholas Crichton - Family Drug and Alcohol CourtDr. Alyson Smith - Clinical PsychologistSusan Fleisher - Executive Director – NOFAS - UKDr. Raja Mukherjee - Consultant Psychiatrist Morning Session District Judge Nicholas Crichton will be speaking about the work of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC). The aim of the FDAC is to help parents stabilise/stop using drugs/alcohol and, where possible, to keep families together. Instead of a normal care proceedings court process, a family chosen for the FDAC process will have a slightly different experience, with more regular court hearings with the same judge for the duration of the proceedings. The process has been designed specifically to help tackle any drug or alcohol problems. This involves co-ordinating a range of services so that the family’s needs, concerns and strengths are all taken into account, with everyone working towards the best possible outcome for the children - a stable and safe family which is able to stay together. Nicholas Crichton was a solicitor in private practice for 15 years. He has been a District Judge for 25 years and the Resident District Judge at the Inner London Family Proceedings Court since it opened in April 1997. He is a passionate advocate for children’s rights and chairs the Voice of the Child sub-committee of the Family Justice Council. He has been instrumental in setting up the Family Drug and Alcohol Court – a project providing intensive support to families with serious drug and alcohol problems in the hope of enabling them to retain or recover the care of their children. Dr Alyson Smith is a clinical psychologist specialising in addictive behaviours. She is an academic and clinical practitioner and has almost two decades of research and clinical experience within the field. The session will explore the research evidence base from a psychological perspective. Participants will gain an understanding of the nature of addiction on an individual’s ability to function (as a parent and generally), the process of behaviour change and recovery from addictive behaviours. This information is essential to informing decision-making (e.g. recommendations for treatment, follow up support etc) whilst taking into account the nature of addiction, recovery and the needs of children and their parents. Part 1: The Impact of the 26 week timescales on drug and alcohol abusing parents and their ability to demonstrate changeThe nature of addictive disorders – diagnostic criteria, implications (e.g. chronicity); assessment of readiness for change; Theories (and processes) of Behaviour Change (and the evidence); the treatment process; Recovery Model (Whyte); evidence of effectiveness of interventions – duration, timescales and how realistic are they? If not, why not? The pros, cons and implications of the 26- week timescales for parents and their children.Part 2: Likelihood of children of substance misusing parents going on to abuse substances themselves – review of the evidence. What are the mechanisms by which this might happen and is there any evidence to support this idea?
Alcohol in Pregnancy - The Consequences for the child - Susan Fleisher will begin her session with a screening of "A Child for Life", a short film which explains FASD and contains interviews with children, parents, experts and doctors. This will be followed by a presentation by Susan. Susan Fleisher is the founder and the Executive Director of NOFAS-UK, the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. She is also the adoptive mother of a 24 year old daughter with FAS. She is the founder of the International FASD Medical Advisory Panel and Publisher of the International e-publication: FETAL ALCOHOL FORUM, Member of the UK Department of Health Advisory Group on Fetal Effects of Alcohol and a Member of the Alcohol Health Alliance - Royal College of Physicians. Dr Raja Mukherjee will be discussing the physiological aspects of FASD (to include parental substance abuse in pregnancy) and the impact on the child and its relationship to the criminal justice system. Dr Mukherjee is a Consultant Psychiatrist at Surrey and Borders Partnership Trust. He is one of the UK’s leading experts on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and runs a specialist clinic which deals with referrals from all over the UK. It carries out detailed assessments of young children's speech, language and brain functions relative to their age. These assessments include photographic analysis of the child's facial features to complete the diagnosis. The disorder is estimated to affect between 1 and 3% of the population. Continuing Professional Development Carter Brown Associates are accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Council to award CPD points – solicitors and barristers attending this event will be awarded 5 CPD points.For other allied professions, this constitutes 5 hours CPD towards your CPD requirement. The cost of the day will be £115 + VAT (£138 Total). This includes all training costs, unlimited tea and coffee, a hot and cold buffet lunch and all training materials.