Parents: Alcoholism

Children, Schools and Families written question – answered on 16th July 2008.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Minister (Children)

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of children living with an alcoholic parent in each of the last 10 years.

Photo of Beverley Hughes Beverley Hughes Minister of State (Children, Young People and Families; Minister for the North West), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Children and Youth Justice) (and Minister for the North West)

The Government do not annually record the number of young people affected by parental alcohol misuse. However the Interim Analytical report produced for the 2004 report 'Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England' by the Prime Ministers Strategy Unit estimates that between 780,000 and 1.3 million children are affected by parental alcohol problems.

The Government recognise that parental alcohol misuse is a serious problem in the family and has negative effects on a child's life chances. This is why my Department is investing in targeted services for those families at risk that will help to reduce the risk of dependency on alcohol and break the cycle of problems being transferred between generations. The drugs strategy 'Drugs: Protecting Families and Communities', published in February 2008, introduced families as a key priority and highlighted the need for support to prevent future problems for children. This proposed a programme of intensive support services to reach the most chaotic families through the Family Interventions project; and Family Pathfinders to develop local systems and services that improve outcomes for families at risk. We are committed to further evaluating a number of programmes to better gauge their impact on reducing alcohol problems.

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