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Hidden Harm – Parental Substance Misuse, Mental Ill Health and Domestic Abuse


When children and babies live in an environment where parental substance misuse, mental ill health and domestic abuse are present, they may be at risk of significant harm. In this course we’ll cover how these three factors, known as the trio of vulnerability, can affect children and babies and how to respond when you come into contact with households where this trio are present.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Explain what the trio of vulnerabilities are and understand how serious the problem is
  • Assess who is most vulnerable to serious harm or death in a household where the trio of vulnerabilities are present
  • Understand how to interact with parents effected by the trio of vulnerabilities
  • Know what steps to take when interacting with a child, what to and what not to disclose and how to communicate with them about their life experiences


This course is anyone working in health and social care, or coming into contact with children in a professional capacity.