Early life and adolescence

Co-producing a storybook for children whose parents use alcohol or drugs

What is the project about?

Fuse researchers at Newcastle University recently conducted two research studies: the Safe Space project (Dr Ruth McGovern), which examined the support needs of non-substance using parents or caregivers in substance exposed families and the SPRing study (Dr Cassey Muir), which examined the support needs of children whose parents use alcohol or drugs. Together, the messages from these studies have been told through the co-production of a children’s storybook with the help of NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) funding. 

What does this involve?

SPHR funding provided the opportunity to work with a local author (Danielle Slade) and illustrator (Josie Brookes) to translate the findings from these studies into a storybook that aims to facilitate conversations between children whose parents use substances and a trusted adult.

What is currently happening?

We have successfully run creative workshops with children and their parents, with the support of an author, illustrator, and a young adult with lived experience of childhood parental substance use. Families’ involvement has helped to ensure the story captures their experiences, whilst also being fun and pleasing to read. We have also had the involvement of teachers and education practitioners, who have guided the development of conversation prompts and ensuring the book would be suitable within a school setting.

We have printed 200 copies of the book and aim to share these with schools, young carers services, alcohol and drug family support services, as well as children’s services.

What does this research want to achieve?

We will gather feedback from practitioners on the usability and impact of the storybook, which will contribute to informing further development of the book and additional resources.

This project will form the basis of future funding applications to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of resources to address the social and emotional needs of children whose parent uses substances.

Who funded this study?

NIHR School for Public Health Research (Impact Accelerator Award)

For more information please:

Email: cassey.muir@newcastle.ac.uk

Find out more:

Fuse website: Developing careers in public health research through Fuse - Cassey Muir

SPHR website: Safeguarding children affected by parental substance misuse: developing parenting interventions to support non-using parents

Linked SPHR themes/programmes: Children, young people & families programme; Public mental health programme; Changing behaviour at population level theme; Health inequalities theme; and the Alcohol programme.

Last modified: Tue, 20 Feb 2024 14:37:53 GMT