Thursday, July 21, 2005

Department of Health release a new Framework for VSA

England - Policy

The Department of Health released a new Framework for Volatile Substance Abuse targeted at children and young people on the 20th July. The document called ‘Out of Sight?..................not out of mind’ outlines a number of key recommendations that the government intends to take forward in partnership with key stakeholders at local, regional and national level.

The framework states that its principal aim is to ensure that the number of deaths arising from VSA continues to fall. The framework recognises that VSA is a complex issue but it has focused action on those few areas which the Department believes will have the greatest impact. The principle actions are targeted at work with children and young people and on butane gas lighter refills, the product responsible for most of the VSA deaths.

The framework aims to co-ordinate activity and to develop a consensus on a way forward in reducing the deaths and harm associated with VSA. This will involve all the key stakeholders including all government departments, non-government organisations, voluntary sector, industry, retailers, Trading Standards Departments, children and young people, parents, carers, families, practitioners, policy makers and the wider community working together in partnership.

The stated aims of the VSA Framework are to:
  • Provide effective education on VSA to all children and young people, including the most disadvantaged
  • Povide effective targeted interventions for children and young people abusing or at risk of abusing volatile substances
  • Reduce the availability and accessibility of volatile substances, with a focus on butane gas lighter refills
  • Build the capacity of parents, carers and practitioners to identify and work effectively with children and young people who are abusing or at risk of abusing volatile substances
    Increase the evidence base with regard to what works in reducing deaths and harm from VSA

Click here to link to a full copy of the document or go to