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Event Tag: substance misuse

Holding the Story: The Journey of a Child Impacted by Familial Substance Misuse, from Utero through to Adoption

Who this is for

Adoption practitioners and managers (Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies, Local Authorities, and independent social workers), children’s social care services, children and family social workers, foster carers, kinship carers, designated teachers, and other professionals working with children and families.


This expert-led training session will focus on the impact of substance misuse on a child and their journey through to adoption. The aim is to understand what this journey can look and feel like for a child and the ongoing impact of this trauma on them and their adoptive families.

During this comprehensive training session, you will embark on a journey to gain a deep understanding of the multifaceted challenges faced by children impacted by familial substance misuse, from prenatal exposure through to adoption. We will begin by exploring the complex landscape of familial substance misuse, examining its prevalence, underlying factors, and the intricate web of consequences it presents for children’s development.

Delving into the effects of prenatal exposure to substances, we will analyse the physiological, cognitive, and emotional ramifications, and discuss evidence-based interventions to mitigate these impacts. Navigating the journey from utero to adoption, we will uncover the unique challenges encountered at each stage, from early childhood development to adolescence, and beyond.

You will learn about the importance of trauma-informed care, resilience-building strategies, and the critical role of supportive relationships in promoting healing and growth. In the context of adoption, we will explore the dynamics of the adoption process in cases involving substance misuse within birth families and the provision of tailored support for adoptive families.

Through interactive group discussions, and practical exercises, participants will have the opportunity to apply their learning to real-life scenarios, honing their skills in providing compassionate and effective support to children and families navigating this complex journey.

Learning 0utcomes

  • Understanding a child’s ‘felt’ experience
  • What the impact of substance misuse on a child can look like – behaviours
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and intergenerational trauma
  • Resources on substance misuse
  • Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
  • Issues around social injustice

About the trainer

Joanna Parker

Prior to working in the field of adoption, Joanna Parker specialised in the substance misuse area as an Integrative Arts Psychotherapist and Young Oasis Manager, for over 10 years, working closely alongside families, social services, foster carers and the children themselves. Joanna has advocated for the needs of these children tirelessly and has observed first hand the whole process that can lead to a child being placed in care. Joanna wanted to know what happened to those children who were adopted, hence moving form working with the birth families, to working with the adoptive families – always child-centred, with a keen eye on their needs. In 2018, Joanna left a full-time post as Young Oasis Lead in Brighton and moved to London to broaden her experience of different work contexts and ways of working, and to further develop what she could offer to clients. Joanna has experience of working with children and young people who experience attachment difficulties, trauma, loss, and are in foster care or adoption/permanency.


A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack.

If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at We will aim to answer your query within two working days.

CVAA accept online payments only. In case you do not have instant access to your company card, we suggest using your personal card instead to book a training event and claim it back with your agency in your expenses. Requesting an invoice to pay for our standard practice events is not possible.