We all wish that we could stop people from taking drugs or drinking excessively
But unfortunately prevention only goes so far.
And where there are people who are still struggling with alcohol dependency or drug addiction, there are children and families who are living with substance misuse.
COMET supports children, parents, families, friends and carers affected by alcohol and drug misuse, and related issues, such as domestic abuse.
For eighteen years, HAGA’s COSMIC Children and Families Service was a key part of our service model, taking a ‘whole family’ approach to working with parental alcohol and drug misuse
Unfortunately COSMIC lost most of its funding in early 2014. Keen to continue our work with families and children, we have remodelled COSMIC into COMET: Community Overcoming Misuse Empowerment Team.
COMET represents a new direction for us, with an emphasis on supporting children and families in recovery from drugs and alcohol, and up-skilling professionals in how to work with families affected by substance misuse.
Deirdre Byrne, who manages COMET, says: “The main issue for the people who come to us is to establish boundaries, to have a space to reflect without being overrun by someone else’s problems and issues.”
We now offer the following under the COMET framework:
Family, Friends and Carers Team
We offer those affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug misuse the support they need in their own right, such as home and community visits, one-to-one support, peer support and social events.
HAGA’s Family, Friends and Carers Worker, Karen, recognises the pressure and difficulties experienced by those living with people affected by alcohol and drug misuse. Working with people for around three months, Karen provides a mixture of home and community visits, and one-to-one support, and coordinates social events and peer support opportunities.
Those who work within COMET are recognised as experts in their field and are often called upon to give advice to others within the industry regarding resources, information and best practice.
We have a dedicated domestic violence and substance misuse worker who offers support, advocacy and intervention to victims and survivors of DV affected by their own or someone else’s alcohol or drug use.
Training and Education
In 2001 HAGA was one of the first alcohol services to develop a dedicated children’s centre. Since then, our family services have expanded and developed and we’ve learnt a lot about working with children, young people and families affected by substance misuse. We offer a wide range of training for professionals, such as courses in working with resistant families and safeguarding children and young people.