Help for children of alcohol-dependent parents supports whole family

The government’s Children of Alcohol Dependent Parents (CADeP) Programme innovation fund helped to ‘improve wellbeing, relationships and life satisfaction’, according to an independent evaluation.

health minister Neil O’Brien.
‘Alcohol misuse can have a particularly devastating impact on children,’ said health minister Neil O’Brien.

The fund provided almost £6m over the four years to March 2022 to areas including Brighton, Knowsley, Portsmouth, Swindon and Haringey. 

The scheme – which was run by the Department of Health and Social Care and Department of Work and Pensions – aimed to better identify and support children of alcohol-dependent parents and their families, as well as increase awareness of parental conflict. The children were more able to access support, the report said, with activities designed to help them explore their feelings, understand their parents’ drinking, make a safety plan and identify someone they could rely on.

Supporting the family also encouraged the parents to seek treatment, said the evaluation from the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. The government is encouraging local authorities to take advantage of drug strategy funding to increase tailored support for families. 

‘Alcohol misuse can ruin lives and destroy families, and can have a particularly devastating impact on children,’ said health minister Neil O’Brien. ‘The toll it can take on their mental health and wellbeing can last throughout their lives. We owe it to these children to make sure support is available.’

‘This scheme has equipped local authorities with the tools they need to get people into treatment and on the road to recovery, and this independent review clearly demonstrates the success of the scheme. I’d encourage local authorities right across England to use the funding we’ve provided to adopt similar approaches and to get more people into treatment.’

Read the report here

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