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The Government announce £6 million funding for children of alcoholics (24 April 2018)

Date: 24/04/2018
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, The Government announce £6 million funding for children of alcoholics

The government have pledged to fund £6 million towards support for children with parents who are alcoholics.

The government has planned to create programs to offer support and advice for children whose parents suffer from alcoholism by including fast access to mental health service and offering treatment programs to help parents overcome their addictions.

It is estimated that 200,000 children in England live with a parent who suffers from alcoholism. The NSPCC suggests that there has been a 30% increase in calls to their dedicated helpline, in regards to children whose parents suffer from alcohol dependency.

The government funding is a union of both the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Work and Pensions. Individual local councils will have to bid for their share of the funding but the amount will depend on how great their need for services is.

The funding will aim to help with the welfare of children such as an increase in speed of the identification of children who are at risk, offering more support to prevent children from going into care and to provide programmes to offer help to parents going through treatment.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "The consequences of alcohol abuse are devastating for those in the grip of an addiction, but for too long, the children of alcoholic parents have been the silent victims. This is not right, nor fair”.

"These measures will ensure thousands of children affected by their parent's alcohol dependency have access to the support they need and deserve."

The Health Secretary appointed Public Health Minister Steve Brine to have ministerial responsibility for children of parents who are alcohol-dependent.

This come after Shadow Health Secretary, Jon Ashworth spoke about his own experiences of growing up with a parent who are suffers from alcoholism and believed that this proposal was a "real breakthrough".

Mr Ashworth said that he felt alone and embarrassed growing up with an alcoholic father and said the government's plans "would have made a tremendous difference to my childhood".

Labour MP, Liam Byrne also lost his father to alcoholism and now chairs the all-party group on children of alcoholics stating that "This is a huge step forward for Britain's innocent victims of booze; the kids of parents who drink too much and end up scarred for life."

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