Children affected by alcoholic parents need more support says charity
A charity is offering a support kit for children whose parents are harmful drinkers.
Alcohol Focus Scotland is reaching out to the estimated 51,000 children affected by their parents’ problem drinking via a toolkit to be used in social work, family support and specialist alcohol services to assist children aged 3-16 years.
The Children Harmed by Alcohol Toolkit (CHAT) can also be used with parents and other family members to demonstrate how alcohol is affecting family life.
It is already being used in voluntary and public sector agencies across Scotland and has been piloted and independently evaluated in community justice settings, funded by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Harmful parental drinking can have a serious impact on all aspects of children’s lives, affecting their health and wellbeing, relationships and school life, says the charity.
Harmful drinking can have a terrible impact on children and their families
Children in this situation can feel anxious, lonely, stressed, angry and confused. In some cases, basic needs may not be met and children can suffer neglect and abuse.
Graham Wordie from Drug Alcohol and Psychotherapies Ltd (DAPL) in Fife said: “This is a really useful resource which we have been using to help children referred to our service because of their mum or dad’s drinking.
“I feel that the toolkit enables children and young people to voice their concerns in a safe and non-judgemental way. They use the toolkit to understand their own feelings, which builds up trust and empowers them not to be afraid to ask the questions they need to."
Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland added: “Harmful drinking can have a terrible impact on children and their families. Sadly, many children suffer in silence but the creative and practical resources we have developed can help support workers and counsellors make a real difference to children’s lives.
“We hope that CHAT will be used in even more services across Scotland and reach the families who need support the most.”