A £10.5 million fund allocated to improve the lives of adults and children impacted by alcohol has been announced by PHE.
The funding is being broken down to £4.5 million innovation fund for local projects working with children and families, and a further £6 million capital fund to improve access to alcohol treatment in the community. For this, PHE is asking local authorities to submit an application to bid for money by 21 January 2019, with successful projects announced next spring and money being made available from 2019 to 2020.
‘There are about 200,000 children whose lives are often torn apart from living with a parent with alcohol problems, which often haunts them into adulthood and can lead to a lifetime of under-achievement and personal problems,’ said Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive at PHE.
‘That is why I’m delighted to be announcing the 9 winners receiving funding, which will provide new and innovative ways of working to identify and reach out to these vulnerable children.
It is estimated that there are 200,000 children in England living with 120,000 parents who have alcohol problems. PHE statistics reveal that there were 16,000 adults receiving treatment for alcohol who were living with children, a further 18,000 who are parents but not currently living with their children being treated. The figures show 82% of children with parents receiving alcohol treatment weren’t receiving support from children’s social care.
According to PHE, the impact of having a parent with an alcohol problem on the lives of children can be devastating. An analysis of serious case reviews (where a child was seriously hurt or killed) found that 37% recorded alcohol as a contributing factor. Alcohol is also often a major contributor to parental conflict, which can lead to a range of poor outcomes for children including being detrimental to their education and employment opportunities and harmful on their health.
‘Alcohol abuse can tear lives apart, not only for the people trapped in the grip of an addiction but for their children, who are often robbed of the support, comfort and structure they need from their parents. I am committed to finding new ways to help families in the midst of these heart-breaking situations,’ said Steve Brine, Public Health Minister.
‘Many children in this position suffer in silence – but the funds awarded to these councils today will help them identify those children sooner and offer them a vital lifeline. We are also investing more money to get parents into alcohol services to help free them of addictions once and for all.’