On Tuesday 3 July, Caroline hosted and spoke at the parliamentary launch of a new policy report, Families First, from the Alcohol and Families Alliance (AFA). The report examines the impact alcohol has on families and children in the UK and the gaps in support, as well as making policy recommendations for closing those gaps.
The report finds that while almost 200,000 children live with at least one alcohol-dependent adult, there is very patchy provision of support nationally for families affected by alcohol, and that training is needed to help professionals identify parental drinking problems and show families where to get help.
Alongside this, the Families First report raises concerns with alcohol's position in wider society – particularly its increased availability in recent years – and how this works against families hoping to avoid harm. It calls for action on the price of alcohol, such as minimum unit pricing which has been introduced in Scotland.
Also speaking at the event, Health Minister Steve Brine welcomed the report, promising a response from his department, and praised the voluntary sector organisations working in this field as crucial partners in tackling this issue.
Discussing the report, Caroline Flint MP shares the following: “Families First makes it clear – the burden alcohol places on families in the UK is one government cannot ignore. The recommendations this report contains are pressing, and they lay out a clear plan of action that needs to be considered within the upcoming Alcohol Strategy. We must put families first.”
The event was also supported by the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Children of Alcoholics and on Alcohol Harm.
Vivienne Evans OBE, Chief Executive of Adfam who are the secretariat of the AFA, commented: “It is excellent to have the support of Caroline for this report and the AFA. This event showcases the need for government to take prompt action to support families in the upcoming alcohol strategy and we are hopeful that with backing of advocates such as Caroline we can see the recommendations this report lays out included in the strategy."