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Hidden Harm

Plymouth City Hidden Harm Intervention

The potential risks and harmful effects to children and young people of the use of alcohol, drugs or other substances by parents, carers and other people living in or closely involved with the child’s or young person’s household. The effects can often result in the best interests and well being of those children and young people not being met. Commonly the neglect can result in a lack of provision for their physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual, social and spiritual development.

Hamoaze house has been commissioned by Plymouth City Council services for children and young people, to provide low level dedicated early intervention support to children and young people across Plymouth who may be experiencing Hidden Harm as a result of one or more of their parents or carers having alcohol and or substance misuse issues. The objective is to identify children and young people who would benefit from confidential and non judgemental advice and guidance, supporting their ability to manage the difficulties they may be experiencing.

The primary focus of the intervention will be to support their needs and concerns, and to prioritise their safety and well being.Once a referral has been made a one to one meeting will be scheduled either in the form of outreach in their local communities or at Seymour House when a neutral space would be more suited to the circumstances. Ongoing one to one meetings will be arranged to offer sustained support where appropriate.

A simple assessment will be agreed between the support worker and young person for each referral, and regular reviews will be undertaken to ensure that the support is flexible and reacts to changing circumstances.
Once the intervention is more established group meetings and positive fun activities will be scheduled across the six key regions of Plymouth, this will provide a regular platform for sharing and reducing the feelings of isolation, as well as a time and place to develop friendships and interests.

The opportunity for service users to reflect upon and contribute towards the intervention will be encouraged, so that we can provide the most accessible and relevant support to meet their needs.
The support worker will also provide an access point for parents and carers who wish to access adult alcohol and substance misuse programmes.

In addition to the direct work with children and young people the intervention will place a strong emphasis on providing specific training and support to partner agencies, to facilitate enhanced understanding and knowledge of Hidden Harm. Likely agencies being the Youth Service, Education Welfare and dedicated pupil support teaching staff within schools.

The aim being to bring a focus on the causes and impacts of Hidden Harm, and to enhance partner agencies ability to support the children and young people in their care.

When working with partner agencies emphasis will be placed on the need for a collective approach in order to deliver, positive and sustainable outcomes. The intervention can also provide the opportunity for interagency dialogue and support.


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