Don Valley MP Caroline Flint has backed a new campaign “Break the Silence to End the Cycle” which is seeking more help for children of alcoholics.
Ms Flint, who is an officer of the All Party Group on Children of Alcoholics, and is herself the daughter of an alcoholic, has written about growing up with a parent addicted to alcohol. The Don Valley MP’s mother died at the age of 45.
The report launching the campaign has shown that some 2.5million children live with an alcoholic parent. Yet a survey of local authorities showed that none had any specific plans in place to support children of alcoholics.
Said Caroline: “Growing up with an alcoholic affects children for many years. And the experience today has improved little since my childhood. Too many children suffer this in silence. They don’t tell friends, they don’t invite people home from school, and they get on with life despite the horrendous problems.
“The lack of dedicated support for these children is a national scandal. That’s why senior MPs and Peers are launching this campaign on behalf of the 2.5million children of alcoholics. We need to identify these children and connect them with the help that can make a difference.
“We want every part of Britain to have a plan in place and we want more investment in crucial helplines like the helpline run by the National Association of Children of Alcoholics - 0800 358 3456.
“Crucially, we’re calling for a public information campaign aimed at parents so they know the damage they’re doing their kids, and we want every council to publish details of their treatment budgets so we know everyone is spending what’s needed.
“I will be writing to Doncaster Council to seek their support for this important campaign – and for it to take a hard look at the services it provides.”
The APPG on Children of Alcoholics is launching three ‘asks’:
Improved investment in helplines, like the National Association of Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) to support children of problem and hazardous drinkers.
A big public information campaign warning parents of the affect on families and where to turn to for help.
A plan for children of alcoholics to be put in place in every area of the country, as part of a national strategy, led by Government.
Caroline Flint’s account of growing up with an alcoholic mother, published in the Daily Mirror, can be read here.