Drug, alcohol misuse and other risky behaviours
Often these problems come in multiples and may have contributed to the breakdown of the relationship. One party might feel the contact with the children needs to be supervised by another adult or in a Contact Centre. It can feel too complex to sort out all at once. The important thing is to access any help available. If you are misusing alcohol or drugs, you could visit your GP who can signpost you to more specialist services. You may find an organisation in your area who can offer support and refer yourself. Some organisations provide multiple support, e.g. housing, drug/alcohol programme, counselling.
Just because your situation is complicated by any of the above, this does not mean you cannot try mediation to help work out a plan with your ex-partner. Mediators are trained to work out whether you are ready to mediate and able to take part. Talking it through with a mediator can also help you to access other services like counselling or drug programmes. Mediators often have information about what help is available in your area.
Where there is concern over the welfare of children under the care of someone who may be misusing drugs or alcohol, this can be established by testing. This process is often used to prove someone is clear of drugs or alcohol as well as whether they have been using.
If you have serious concerns about the safety of children or vulnerable adults in these kinds of situations, you may find it helpful to talk it through with Children’s Services. If you ring your Local Authority and ask to speak to a Duty Social Worker, they should be able to advise you.
NFM is a network of professional family mediation providers based in England and Wales that work with families affected by relational breakdown. All providers aim to help clients achieve an outcome that works best for them and their family
If you would like to get more information about mediation and/or make an appointment you can contact NFM direct on 0300 4000 636 or you can also contact a NFM family mediation provider in your area.
All services also take referrals from Solicitors, the court or other helping / support agencies.