PHE launches new family support pack

A new updated toolkit to support those helping families with parental drug and alcohol issues has been issued by PHE.

Parents with alcohol and drug problems: support resources includes guidance for adult treatment and family services and an ‘investing in families’ workbook, as well as case studies to determine the cost benefit of different interventions. 

As well as frontline drug and alcohol staff, the resources are aimed at commissioners, directors of public health and people working in children’s and family services. The toolkit also includes data from 2019-20 for each local authority on prevalence of parental alcohol and drug misuse and children in need, as well as an evidence slide pack to ‘encourage commissioners to invest in services working with families’. 

Department for Education (DfE) statistics from 2019-20 found that parents using drugs was a factor in around 17 per cent of child in need cases, and parental alcohol use a factor in 16 per cent. Analysis of serious case reviews from 2011-14 also found that parental alcohol or drug use was recorded in 36 per cent of those carried out when a child had died or been seriously harmed.

‘Not all children of parents who use alcohol or drugs problematically will experience significant harm, but children growing up in these families are at a greater risk of adverse outcomes,’ says PHE. These can include their own substance misuse, offending behaviour, employment problems and domestic abuse. The new resources are also backed by support via the local government Knowledge Hub at

Resources available here

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