The department for health and social care has launched a new ‘innovation fund’ to help local authorities support children with alcoholic parents.
The health secretary Jeremy Hunt today announced a £6m package of interventions designed to help an estimated 200,000 children in England living with alcohol-dependent parents.
Jointly funded with the department for work and pensions, the measures will aim to provide fast access to support and mental health services for children and their families where there is a dependent drinker.
They will also help to identify at-risk children quickly, including those undertaking inappropriate care responsibilities.
Around £4.5m of the new funding will go to councils while £1m will go to fund national capacity building by non-governmental organisations.
The new funding follows Government investment last year of £500,000 to expand national helplines for children with alcoholic parents.
It will also go towards the provision of outreach programmes to get more parents successfully through addiction treatment, and early intervention programmes to reduce the numbers of children needing to go into care.
Local authorities will be invited to bid for funding by coming up with innovative solutions based on local need, with priority given to areas where more children are affected.
‘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,’ said public health minister Steve Brine.
‘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.’