Enterprise corner

Silent voices

Recovery must reach every member of the family, says Amar Lodhia

For a long time at TSBC we have advocated that the key to sustained recovery lies in our four core values – inspiration and aspiration, positive role models, incentives and a stable environment.

In a family situation, this is even more important when you take the young child who has grown up with a substance-abusing parent. Critically, they are given a false start in life right from the get-go, with a distinct lack of positive role models, no one to inspire or incentivise them and anything but a stable home environment.
Working with participants across the age spectrum, we have found entrepreneurship and a lever into the world of business and employment to have been the common feature that has pulled them through treatment for good. It seems logical to apply the same ra-tionale to a family situation and break the destructive cycle that substance misuse can have upon young people growing up in these environments.

Recent research from the Children’s Commissioner found that a shocking one in three children in the UK live with at least one parent who is a binge drinker (see news story, page 4). With an additional 350,000 children of problem drug users in the UK today, there are over a million young people whose wellbeing and personal development has been severely compromised. Future public health reforms must show a focus towards ensuring that the levels of treatment available to substance misusers are on par with that available to their children.

There has been recognition among childcare professionals that more must be done around the whole family intervention process. This requires a more holistic approach to recovery, recovery for all those within the family affected by the impact of substance abuse. For us it makes sense that parents struggling through treatment with substance misuse cannot be seen in isolation. At home, there will be a young child, struggling through their own issues, with no treatment on standby to help them. Of course this is easier said than done.

When we met Louise Casey, the prime minister’s tsar on tackling troubled families across the UK, we discussed how we could use enterprise, business and initiatives like Breaking the cycle to bring a positive purpose to a family and instil our values to enable both parents and children to progress together. We are actively seeking examples of how work being done with parent and child together is carried out as well as case studies.
I’d be interested in hearing your examples, case studies and views on this. Email me personally at ceo@tsbccic.org.uk and follow us on Twitter @TSBCLondon using the #tag DDNews

Amar Lodhia is chief executive of The Small Business Consultancy CIC (TSBC)