Drug-abuse workers need more training and higher status

The
Government has been urged to improve the status and training of staff who work
with drug abusers in a bid to tackle recruitment and retention problems.

A
report by social care charity Turning Point calls for better rewards, personal
development and career progression for staff, and improved public standing for
the profession.

It
estimates there is a shortfall of at least 3,000 staff with specialist
knowledge in the management of drug abuse. Shortfalls are greatest among those
working with young people, women, families, people with mental health problems
and ethnic minorities, the report warns.

Calling
for the tackling of drug abuse to be central to a broader social agenda, the
report highlights demands for more training from social workers, housing officers
and mental health workers.

The
report stresses the need for a “shared level of skills and knowledge across all
professions and mainstream agencies that come into contact and work with drug misusers”.

Staff
should be aware of what services exist locally, referral pathways, and joint
working, it adds.

Daniel Thomas

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