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


The course provides a detailed awareness of hidden harm (toxic trio) and how it affects parents and children.

This course will give learners excellent knowledge of the issues that affect children living with hidden harm. It will help the learner understand the cycle of events each hidden harm stressor produces, and highlights how to spot signs of harm and appropriate times to break this cycle of events to safeguard the child. 


Duration: 2 hours

This course contains the following modules:

Module name Type Duration
What is the Toxic Trio Online 00:10:00
Impact on Parenting Online 00:15:00
Impact on Babies Online 00:15:00
Impact on Children Online 00:15:00
Understanding the family Online 00:15:00
Working with Parents Online 00:20:00
Assessing the Risk to the Child Online 00:15:00
Helping the Child Online 00:10:00


This course is split into eight modules:


  • What is hidden harm
  • Impact on parenting
  • Impact on babies
  • Impact on children
  • Understanding the family
  • Working with the parents
  • Assessing risk to the child
  • Helping the child


Upon successful completion of this course you will be automatically awarded a certificate containing the course name, completion date, CPD hours and learning objectives.


In this course you will learn about:


  • Hidden Harm
  • The hidden harm stressors
  • How the stressors are related
  • The impact of domestic abuse on parenting and pregnancy
  • Maternal domestic abuse
  • The impact of mental ill-health
  • Substance misuse
  • The impact on infants and children
  • Child exposure to hidden harm in homes
  • Crisis theory and its impact on children
  • Container-contained relationship theory and secure attachment and reflective functioning theories
  • Eliciting key information safely
  • Approaches to information gathering
  • Structuring assessments and more.


In this course you will learn:


What hidden harm is, definitions for each stressor, why the three issues are related, how serious the problem is, the impact of domestic abuse on parenting and pregnancy, the link between maternal domestic abuse and mental ill-health, the causes of mental ill-health, the impact of mental ill-health on parenting,  the link between mental ill-health and substance misuse, the impact of substance misuse on parenting, who is most vulnerable to serious harm or death, the scale of the problem, the impact on the unborn, the attachment theory, the impact of adversity on the baby’s brain, early adversity and stress, symptoms of trauma, exposure during pregnancy, child exposure to hidden harm in homes, harm from each stressor manifests in children |impact of infant adversity on child and adult behaviours, impact each of the parental stressors has on a child, child resilience,crisis theory and its impact on children |Think Family and family-centred approaches, container-contained relationship theory, secure attachment and reflective functioning theories, stigma, eliciting key information safely, other abuses |engaging both parents, considerations relating to parental domestic violence, mental ill-health and substance misuse

Enrolment details

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Course flyer

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View flyer


This course has been independently certified as conforming to universally accepted Continuous Professional Development (CPD) guidelines.