At the Intersection of Substance Abuse and Child Protection Services – Do Young People Who Use Substances Receive the Support They Need? NUPPU-project (2023-2025)

The NUPPU-project is a collaborative research projects in cooperation with project partners and it examines rehabilitative substance abuse services for young people. Social work research plays a crucial role in ensuring service pathways for young people with substance abuse problems. Research in the area is still scarce. The substance use and polarization of problematic use of substances among young people, the increasing availability of illicit substances, as well as the lack of and poor accessibility of targeted substance abuse services requires attention. The goal is to investigate the status and development needs of treatment of substance abuse problems among young people, as well as risk factors for well-being. The aim is to identify areas for improvement and establish effective service processes at the intersection of substance abuse and child protection.

The research employs a multimethod approach and various data sources (previous empirical research on the topic, online surveys, interviews, registry data). We will explore the following questions: 1) How has the substance abuse problem among young people been addressed? What have been the effective treatment practices, and what recommendations can be derived from previous research?, 2) What is the current state of substance abuse services for young people from the perspectives of experts and professionals in the field?, 3) What development needs arise when examining the interface between the substance abuse service system and child welfare?4), what is the experience of young people and their families regarding substance abuse services? 5) What risk factors can be identified among young people involved with child welfare and substance abuse services?

We investigate service system, resources and competencies of social work and other worker groups. It also studies the experiences of young people and their families regarding the services they receive.

The research project is funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (605/2020) 2023–2025.