Parental Problem Drinking and its Impact on Children

By Jo Tunnard.
Research in Practice
ISBN 0954183401   

Outcomes for children in need can be improved by making research
findings accessible to practitioners. Yet, the literature tends to
be complex and the task of keeping abreast onerous.

This 46-page pamphlet identifies, distils and translates research
relevant to breaking the “silence and fear” that surround problem
drinking. In one study, a quarter of newly looked-after children in
a 12-month period were from families where this was a pressing

The pamphlet defines and classifies problem drinking, explores its
impact and identifies messages for service delivery. It points out
that problem drinking is not always associated with adverse
outcomes and unravels the links between problem drinking, domestic
violence, child maltreatment and vulnerability. It argues child
protection should not make assumptions about the impact of parental
alcohol use.

Practitioners and managers will find useful prompts for assessment,
outcomes to be achieved and thresholds for intervention. Messages
to avoid fragmentation of services and to consider all affected
family members also make this a useful source for inter-agency
training and policy discussion.

Sue Richardson is an attachment-based psychotherapist,
trainer and co-author of Creative Responses to Child Sexual
(Jessica Kingsley, 2001)

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