Children of parents with alcohol problems neglected

The needs of children whose parents misuse alcohol are being neglected by “ill-equipped” services, according to a report published today at Community Care Live.CC Live logo article

The report published by social care charity Turning Point found that “very few” professionals in adult services were confident about meeting the needs of both alcohol-misusing parents and their children.

It also found that many staff in children’s services lacked the knowledge and skills to to address parent’s substance misuse problems even where they affected children.

The report said direct services for parents who misused alcohol and their children had been “very slow” to develop and received “insufficient” attention.

While around five times as many children were affected by parental alcohol misuse rather than drug misuse, services were mainly focused on drugs, according to the report.

“As they grow up, children have to cope with a multitude of behavioural, emotional and social problems. Families generally receive little support to help address the practical and emotional issues that arise, yet children and parents are clear about the positive impact that the right services could have on helping them to manage or overcome their situation,” the report said.

Turning Point called on the government to fund a national inquiry into the needs of children of alcohol-misusing parents.

The charity also suggested putting a duty on councils to develop local strategies on alcohol-misuse services.

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