Practical Research: Planning and Design

Prior to beginning work on this Learning Activity, read Chapter 13 in your text, Practical Research: Planning and Design.

  • Explain any weaknesses of your research proposal/project that you are completing this week.
  • Describe how you addressed those weaknesses.
  • Elaborate on any other challenges that occurred while compiling your research project

The Research Proposal Project Completion Challenges and Review learning activity will be submitted to a Canvas dropbox. The checklist must be two double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA Style (Links to an external site.) as outlined in the Writing Center’s APA Formatting for Microsoft Word











Research Proposal

Constance Lingard

Global University of Arizona


Research Proposal


The long-term and life-changing effects of parental substance abuse on their children are well-documented. One of these young people’s many dangers is a lack of stable housing. A child who does not live with either biological parent is at far greater risk for adverse health and safety outcomes due to parental substance misuse. Even though research shows that these young individuals are more likely to be homeless, little is known about their real living situations. Illicit drug use by parents has a negative impact on all aspects of their lives, including their ability to care for their children (Lloyd, 2018). Parents who use drugs are more likely to break the law and neglect their children, which can lead to the latter becoming homeless and the former needing the assistance of child welfare agencies.


Drug addiction can devastate a person’s physical and mental health. Substance abuse inevitably results in dependence on the abused substance to the point where the user is unable to function normally without it. Alcohol and illegal narcotics are two examples of often abused substances. These chemicals are highly addictive, and their suppliers sometimes have difficulty breaking free of their association with their customers’ drug use. Limiting their use is challenging because they’re always tempted to partake owing to the substances’ euphoric effects (Lipari & Van Horn, 2017). A person’s health, among other aspects of their existence, often suffers significantly due to their addiction to such substances. Social and environmental consequences are two more examples. Most drug users would rather be tolerant of their drugs’ effects than immune to them. The effects of substance misuse are not confined to the person who uses them; instead, they permeate all aspects of society, including homes, schools, and businesses.

Parents are part of the population known to engage in the intake of illicit drugs, which might be contributed by the challenging economic problems and stressful workplaces. Adults that take illicit drugs and even alcohol might be using it as a remedy to the problems they are experiencing in their workplaces and the financial challenges taking them to be addicted to them and become a serious menace. Some workplaces are becoming a problem for most employees, especially those with families, to provide food to them because of the depression and stress experienced in the workplace. Most of them decide to engage in substance and illicit drug abuse instead of resigning. The problem of illicit drug use moves to their families, where some become violent, and some also become irresponsible in providing for their children due to mismanagement of their funds to meet the drug addiction needs (Kaliszewski, 2022). The problem worsens, leading to the children even becoming homeless when the parents’ divorce because of the consequences of illicit substance use, including disagreement and violence. Illicit substance abuse becomes a problem for society and the community because children who become homeless demand that the child protective services are informed about the issue, which leads to the intervention for them getting the necessary attention.

Problem Statement

In my previous workplace, the incidence of illicit drug abuse was reported mainly because the work schedule was much tight, and the employees were needed to work overtime although being paid. The American Counseling organization is a social service firm I am looking forward to working for. The organization identified in the previous organization that there are rising cases of mental problems that drive the employees to illicit drug abuse, which was possible after they get a report from child protective services leading to them seeking information. The American Counseling Organization (ACO) report includes the fact that there was a limited time for the work-home balance where most of the adults engaged in illicit drug use as a remedy to address the stress they are experiencing due to tough working conditions. The worst part is that the organization had no counseling services that would have attended to the employees making it more challenging for the employees to counter the stress from working long hours.

Parents who participate in illegal drug use are less able to meet their kids’ demands since they themselves are likely to develop an addiction to the substances. Having parents who are involved in illegal drug use creates a chasm that can leave children without the resources to meet basic needs, such as food and shelter, and can also lead to abuse and neglect. In cases where parents’ negligence is so severe that their children become homeless, child protective services must step in to provide shelter, food, and medical care (Rogers & Parkinson, 2017). Children’s safety is jeopardized when they live with their drug-addicted parents because of the increased risk of drug exposure and the emotional trauma resulting from seeing their parents’ addiction. Children need to be protected from harm, so parents and guardians must make the right choice regarding child protective services.

Population Served

The population targeted in the research study is that the adults, especially parents working in an organization that lacks flexibility, stress drive most employees to illicit substance addiction. The adult’s problem becomes a challenge to the entire society since most of them are the breadwinners of their families, and engaging in illicit drug abuse contributes significantly to poverty and homelessness in the community (Lander et al., 2013). The children are the ones that suffer most because they fail to receive their basic needs, which include food, shelter, clothing, health, and education. The children who experience an extreme family relationship that includes violence and homelessness find themselves in child protective services after the neighbors and community report the abuse of children to the organization to intervene.

Proposed Solution

The challenge of illicit drug abuse among parents is an issue that is addressed through prevention strategies where they are educated and offered counseling services. Parents that engage in illicit drug abuse have much detrimental impact on the entire community because children are also affected, where some adolescents might also find themselves in drug abuse, and other children are taken under the custody of child protective services. The most applicable solution is for the counseling organization to partner with the employers in establishing counseling services that ensure that employees manage the stress and depression experienced in the workplace. Seeking for the funding to carry out the exercise as the American Counseling Organization to educate and create awareness among the parents and employers about handling challenging workplaces and avoiding illicit drug abuse as a remedy. The solution is to encourage the parents to open up about the challenges they are experiencing to the counseling offices in their workplaces, which would assist them in countering the problems that they are experiencing (Lipari & Van Horn, 2017). There is a need to offer counseling services that ensure that employees work in a conducive environment that makes them productive in the workplace and at home and ensure they are protecting their family through the provision and social support (Gordon, 2018). Counseling is an intervention that is critical in ending the substance abuse that affects individual productivity in the workplace and how they are attending to their family, reducing cases of taking children to protective services.

Research Question

The research targets to answer various questions concerning parents engaging in illicit drug abuse, leaving their children to get support from child protective services. The questions include:

What are the contributing factors that lead to parents taking illicit drugs?

How does the workplace contribute to illicit drug use by parents?

What are the best interventions toward illicit drug use among parents?


The proposal intends to collect data by from twenty participants that comprise of 10 parents from workplaces that are randomly chosen, five affected parents, and five counselors from CMO. Survey questionnaires will be given to them to collect data on how they face workplace challenges that drive them to take illicit drugs and later become substance addicts. The questionnaires will have up to ten questions to ensure all areas of concern in this research are tackled. The participants will also be interviewed on how the children’s protection service has helped them evade the family challenges of having parents who have abandoned parental duties due to drug substance addiction. The structured questionnaires will also want to know the challenges of not living with biological parents. There are the participants that would respond to online questionnaires due to their geographical location. The research design used is a cross-sectional study that is good for the nature of the study. The work will now analyze the data collected using descriptive statistics.

Conceptual Framework

This proposal’s research question is the strategies to address illicit drug use among parents whose children are in the care of child protective services. The independent variable, in this case, is the parents who use illicit drugs, while the dependent variable is children in the care of child protective services. Children being taken to child protective services depend on the parents using illicit drugs and abandoning their parental activities. So, the research would like strategies to reduce or eliminate the use of illicit drugs among parents since it is directly proportional to the number of children being taken to child protective services (Lewis et al., 2021). Other variables contributing to the dependent variables are children being neglected, exploited, and violent.

Method Design

A cross-sectional method design is used in this proposal. This research collects data from various groups of people, hence having a wide scope of the study, including employees where parents who are working at the workplace are given questionnaires. The counselors also dealing with mentally disturbed people are given questionnaires on the same topic of the use of illicit drugs and their effects. It also addresses those directly affected by their close people using illicit drugs and those who come from the same area as the affected people.


There is a need to address the strategies to reduce illicit drug use amongst parents whose children are in child protection services. The use of illicit drugs by parents has brought a negative impact on their children. They commit crimes, and some reduce their attention towards parental activities, it has rendered some children homeless due to house insecurity, some children suffer from traumas, and depression, amongst other effects (Lipari & Van Horn, 2017). The challenges faced by these children have prompted this study to come on board and research what is actually happening from the start. After which, the research intends to provide the ultimate solutions to the above-stated problem. Since the primary problem is caused by the parent, the study has focused much on strategies to reduce or eliminate the use of illicit drugs among parents for the sake of their children.

Planning Strategies

The planning for the research project is done by getting the participants ready and seeking their consent. The process is done immediately after having the questionnaire ready, where the target population is highlighted and ready to do the process. The data collection is then conducted based on the participants’ appointments about their day of the exercise, where the use of online questionnaires is perfected for those that would not be available physically. However, after the data collection process, the data is cleaned and subjected to data analysis. Descriptive statistics make the data collected into basic features for a better understanding. The next step is using graphs and charts to present the data to the audience for the purpose of scrutiny and decision-making. Finally, the report is developed concerning the solution provided in relation to the information sourced from the participants to check its validity for the final decision.

Ethical Consideration Concerns

The study would involve various participants, including the affected worker (parents in the workplace), counselors, and mental health patients (who suffered illicit drug use). The participants are expected to share their experiences and consider giving factual information, and in this case, they need to be assured of data safety during the process (Lewis et al., 2021). The ethical issue that should be of concern is signing the consent form, which each participant must do before participating. The consent form ensures that they have agreed to participate, and their data is only shared after seeking their consent. The data is then protected in the cloud and a secure offline setting to ensure that it is present when needed and to avoid possible exposure. In addition, the data is also secured by encrypting it so that in case the data leaks make, the intruder can’t get the details.

Management Plan

The organization’s management is expected to allocate funding to the research project for its success. Funding is important for the type of project, especially in getting details about the problem in question and also addressing it accordingly, considering the aspect that the solution is viable based on the state of the problem. The executive management is expected to provide the resources needed in the process and offer the management and guidance that would result in the process’s success. The management ensures that the research project succeeds and brings the required outcome. The plan is to pick a project manager to ensure the project proposal is a success by assisting the researchers in offering the needed resources. The project manager is chosen and is expected to select the best team that works towards making sure the project succeeds.

Proposed timeline

The research project is expected to be completed in 4 weeks, with the most time allocated to the data collection process. The first weeks include seeking to develop the questionnaire and choosing the best participants for the study. The first week is about reaching out to the participants, signing the consent form, and ensuring that all participants offer their appointment, which results in the next two weeks of collecting the data. The last week is on data analysis, developing the inferences, and developing the report in writing.

Activities Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Introduction, filling out consent forms and developing questionnaires.        
Data collection        
Data analysis, developing inferences from the findings and compiling the report.        



The project is practical and possible to conduct because society is ready to help end the menace of illicit drug use that puts children in much pain and increases the poverty level in the community. Since the community is determined to address the problem makes it easy to get the target participant in the study that are likely to share their experiences in more clear and full of accuracy because they want a lasting solution to the problem. The project has much practicality because multiple other studies have been conducted, resulting in these and succeeded. Therefore, there is much hope that the project will be successful.

Anticipated Challenges

There is the possibility that some participants, especially those that are the victims of illicit drug use led to abandon their children in the custody of child protective services because they fear victimization and stigma. Although there would be an assurance to the participants that their involvement in the study is protected and it would be autonomous, there are those who would not do so (Gordon, 2018). The other challenge is limited funding to reach out to all participants in different geographical locations, and this would slow down the process, where some participants also fail to honor their appointment.















Gordon, D. (2018). The Family Framework in a Drug Treatment Court.  Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World,  4, 237802311876146.

Kaliszewski, M. (2022).  The Link between Child Abuse and Substance Abuse. American Addiction Centers. Retrieved 16 September 2022, from

Lander, L., Howsare, J., & Byrne, M. (2013). The Impact of Substance Use Disorders on Families and Children: From Theory to Practice.  Social Work in Public Health,  28(3-4), 194-205.

Lewis, Q., Smith, B., Offiong, A., Prioleau, M., & Powell, T. (2021). When a house is never a home: Housing instability among youth affected by parental drug abuse.  Child Abuse &Amp; Neglect,  118, 105131.

Lipari, R., & Van Horn, S. (2017).  Children Living with Parents who have a Substance Use Disorder. Retrieved 16 September 2022, from

Lloyd, M. (2018). Poverty and Family Reunification for Mothers with Substance Use Disorders in Child Welfare.  Child Abuse Review,  27(4), 301-316.

Rogers, M., & Parkinson, K. (2017). Exploring approaches to child welfare in domestic violence and abuse contexts: Family group conferences. Child &Amp; Family Social Work,  23(1), 105-112.

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