Published: 25 September 1999
The availability, use and evaluation of the provision of creche facilities in association with drug treatment
The issue of childcare in drug treatment facilities has implications for the equality of access to treatment (mostly for women), quality of treatment, quality of working life for staff in the treatment centres and emotional and educational development of children of drug misusers. This report aims to bridge the gap in research on crèche facilities in drug treatment centres to inform policy and planning. All drug treatment centres in Dublin were consulted. Of the 45 centres, 9 provided crèche facilities. All of the crèches studied operated from premises on or near the treatment service. Treatment staff, parents/ guardians and children form 6 of the 9 centres were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. In all of the centres studied, the crèche facilities could only be utilised when the parent/ guardian was receiving treatment. In 5 of the 6 centres the children use the crèche for a short time while the parent/ guardian received treatment. The sixth centre provided an all day crèche in association with a reintegration/ rehabilitation programme. Without access to these crèches many clients could not have availed of the treatment and rehabilitation programmes provided. The study revealed that drug-misusing parents (mostly women) often felt limited in tackling their drug dependence without access to regular childminding arrangements, thus highlighting the importance of crèche facilities in attempting to treat drug misuse.