The Department of Health and Social Care has announced funding for its plans to increase support to children living with alcoholic parents.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, said that £6 million would be made available to help identify children at risk and provide them with fast-tracked support. It is estimated that around 200,000 children in England have parents who are dependent on alcohol.
The plan is for local authorities to devise solutions based on local needs and bid for the funding, with areas where there is a high rate of affected children taking priority.
The measures announced to help support the children include:
- Fast access to mental health services and support for children and their families where there is a somebody with a drink dependency
- Quicker identification of children at risk, including those with inappropriate care responsibilities
- Outreach programmes to help parents tackle their addiction
- Early intervention to reduce the number of children being taken into care.
The areas that receive funding will work with Public Health England to ensure the plans are running effectively.
The announcement comes in the wake of a £500,000 initiative in 2017 to expand the national helplines available to children with drink-dependent parents.
A dedicated minister for children with alcohol-dependent parents was also appointed and speaking of his new role, Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: “All children deserve to feel safe and it is a cruel reality that those growing up with alcoholic parents are robbed of this basic need.
“Exposure to their parent’s harmful drinking leaves children vulnerable to a host of problems both in childhood and later in life and it is right that we put a stop to it once and for all. I look forward to working with local authorities and charities to strengthen the services that make a real difference to young people and their families.”