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Implementation factors for the delivery of alcohol and drug interventions to children in care: Qualitative findings from the solid feasibility trial

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hayley AldersonORCiD, Dr Ruth McGovernORCiD, Emerita Professor Elaine McCollORCiD, Professor Eileen KanerORCiD, Debbie Smart, Dr Paul McArdle, Dr Raghu Lingam



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.Young people in care have a four-fold increased risk of drug and alcohol use compared to their peers. The SOLID study aimed to deliver two behaviour change interventions to reduce risky substance use (illicit drugs and alcohol) and improve mental health in young people in care. The study was carried out in 6 local authorities in the North East of England. Young people in care aged 12–20 years, who self-reported substance use within the previous 12 months were randomised to Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Social Behaviour and Network Therapy or control. In-depth 1:1 interviews and focus groups were used with young people in care, foster carers, residential workers, social workers and drug and alcohol practitioners to explore the key lessons from implementing the interventions. The Consolidated Framework of Implementation Research framed the analysis. Findings illustrated that the everyday interaction between individuals, service level dynamics and external policy related factors influenced the implementation of these new interventions at scale. We concluded that unless interventions are delivered in a way that can accommodate the often-complex lives of young people in care and align with the drug and alcohol practitioners’ and social workers priorities, it is unlikely to be successfully implemented and become part of routine practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alderson H, McGovern R, Copello A, McColl E, Kaner E, Smart D, McArdle P, Lingam R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Year: 2021

Volume: 18

Issue: 7

Online publication date: 26/03/2021

Acceptance date: 24/03/2021

Date deposited: 11/08/2021

ISSN (print): 1661-7827

ISSN (electronic): 1660-4601

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18073461


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