Alcohol Treatment Matrix cell C5: Management/supervision; Safeguarding the community

2020/21 update funded by

Alcohol Change UK web site. Opens new Window

Alcohol Change UK



Previously also funded by

Society for the Study of Addiction web site Society for the Study of Addiction

Developed with

Skills Consortium web site. Opens new window

Alcohol Treatment Matrix

Effectiveness Bank Alcohol Treatment Matrix

Includes brief interventions

Drug Treatment Matrix

Effectiveness Bank Drug Treatment Matrix

Includes harm reduction

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Management/supervision; Safeguarding the community

Seminal and key studies on the role of management and supervision in relation to treatment in criminal justice settings and/or for the purpose of safeguarding the community. Just as for the practitioners, for managers the ‘tricky’ challenge is to extract therapeutic benefit out of a coercive, punishment-oriented context.


S Seminal studiesK Key studiesR ReviewsG Guidancemore Search for more studies

Links to other documents. Hover over for notes. Click to highlight passage referred to. Unfold extra text Unfold supplementary text

S Watershed moment for the place of child protection in substance use policy and services ([UK] Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, 2003). Though published in 2003, this report from the UK government’s drug policy advisers deserves the accolade of “seminal”. After its publication, no practitioner, manager or policy maker could justifiably claim ignorance of the need to prioritise the child while treating their parent(s) for substance use problems. It changed perspectives, lifting eyes from the direct treatment task to the family, and remains a key source for related guidance and research. Also listed below as guidance. For discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

K Daunting task of managing ‘wet’ day centres (2003). Describes the set-up and management challenges faced by UK centres offering street drinkers a place where they can start to reverse years of deterioration – without having to stop drinking. Related study below. For discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

K Management problems undermine hostel for drinkers (1999). In London’s East End a project to house rough sleepers unwilling to stop drinking curtailed local ‘nuisance’ from street drinking and begging, but was at first undermined by unsuitable premises, staffing, and management. Related study above. For discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

K Leadership affects adoption of evidence-based practices (2008; alternative free source at time of writing). Leadership qualities including knowledge and experience and commitment to a rehabilitation focus predicted good substance use treatment practice in US criminal justice services. For discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

K Motivational interviewing style clashes with criminal justice context (2001). Actual performance of US probation staff after motivational interviewing training contradicted promising written responses, and the officers were rated as less ‘genuine’ than before – possibly because the work context limited how far they could genuinely stay true to motivational principles. Same study described in this Findings essay. Related discussion in cell B5’s bite.

K Offender–intervention matching principles really do help (2011). Training probation officers in the risk-need-responsivity model intended to match interventions to the offender reduced the recidivism of offenders on probation. For discussions click here and here and scroll down to highlighted headings.

R Female offenders particularly need holistic treatment (2008). Argues that treatment for female offenders should take into account the high prevalence of post-traumatic stress and other mental and physical health problems, and the significance for them of relationships and of their roles as mothers. Concludes that women respond best to holistic, integrated programmes which incorporate empowerment and peer mentoring, and adopt a collaborative rather than authoritarian approach.

R Substance use practitioners can build on their skills to address child protection (2007). After reviewing international research, UK-based experts on the family dimensions of substance use problems questioned the commonly reported perception of substance use treatment workers that child welfare is beyond their skills and professional comfort zones. For discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

R G Managing services for drink-drivers (Health Canada, 2004). Selected on the basis of a research review and expert opinion, recommended education, treatment and rehabilitation approaches to alcohol/drug impaired driving, plus training and organisational requirements for implementation.

R G Specific recommendations on training for treatment in a criminal justice context (Australian Government, 2005). Uniquely focuses on training staff to treat substance use problems in a criminal justice context, formulating guidance on training and its management based on a review of research specific to this context and more generic literature and principles. For discussions click here and here and scroll down to highlighted headings.

R G Creating and maintaining ‘family sensitive’ treatment services ([Australian] National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, 2010). Reviews generic and substance use-specific research as a basis for guidance on workforce development policies and practices to help ensure treatment services safeguard their clients’ children. For related discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

G Child protection is part of the business of substance use services ([UK] Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, 2003). Results of an inquiry into children in the UK seriously affected by parental drug use. Says that though “Our main focus is … on problem drug use … many of the recommendations … will also be applicable to the children of problem drinkers”. Includes (starting p. 82) guidance on incorporating child protection measures into the work of drug and alcohol services. Update published in 2006. Also listed above as a seminal report. For discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

G Scottish guidance on protecting families and children advocates “whole family” recovery (Scottish Government, 2013). Guidance specific to substance use intended for all child and adult services, including drug and alcohol services. Sees treatment of the parent’s substance use as one element of a “whole family” strategy responding to the wider family’s needs, such as supporting children and enhancing parenting and resilience. The role substance use services should play in a system which (Getting our Priorities Right is the title) prioritises child welfare, including what new patients should be asked about the children in their lives. Related local toolkit listed below. For discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

G ‘Toolkit’ to help practitioners safeguard children and families affected by problem substance use (NHS Lothian and partner agencies, 2014). Co-produced by health, social and enforcement authorities in the Edinburgh region. Designed to assist the day-to-day practice of health and social care practitioners working with children and families affected by alcohol and drug problems in the family, but can also act as a checklist and guidance for their managers. Getting it Right in the toolkit’s title echoes the Scottish national guidance listed above. For related discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

G Key capabilities for treatment staff to work with male perpetrators of domestic violence (2015). Published by King’s College, London, and developed on the basis of UK research (2016). Helps substance use treatment services define and clarify key staff capabilities for working with male substance users who are violent to intimate partners. See also generic NICE quality standards ([UK] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2016) for health and social care services on assessing and responding to domestic abuse.

G Good practice in responding to domestic and sexual violence involving substance use (2013). UK guidelines based on a government-funded project intended to improve responses to victims and perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence associated with substance use and/or mental health problems. Includes minimum standards of practice and guidance on policies and procedures. See also generic NICE quality standards ([UK] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2016) for health and social care services on assessing and responding to domestic abuse.

G US guidance on substance use treatment and domestic violence ([US] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1997). Consensus guidance on how treatment services can identify and work with both perpetrators and victims.

G Australian guidance on addressing family and domestic violence in addiction treatment ([Australian] National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, 2013). Among other functions, intended to guide managers in organising policies, procedures and staff training and development to identify and address family or domestic violence among substance use patients.

G Managing alcohol problems in prisoners (World Health Organization, 2012). Integrated model of best practice in care for problem-drinking prisoners based on UK experience.

G US consensus guidance on substance use treatment in the criminal justice system ([US] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2005). Guidance influenced by an impressive array of practitioners and service planners and endorsed by research and practice experts. Distils best research-informed practice on topics including the selection of treatment interventions, matching these to the offender, and planning treatment programmes.

more Retrieve all relevant Effectiveness Bank analyses or search more specifically at the subject search page. See also hot topics on child protection and on helping the families of substance users.

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