With funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government, families in recovery are now offering support to one another in the community.
The ‘Families in recovery’ project aims to foster supportive recovery networks and community links in the wards of Central and South Tottenham, and more widely.
- Families in recovery from drug and alcohol misuse stay in recovery
- Families in recovery are beacons of recovery
- The community has a positive view of families in recovery as healthy and happy community members
How people’s views have shaped the project
Over fifty-four respondents so far have told us that group meetings would be the most helpful support for families in recovery (40% identified this as most useful type of support). Family fun activities, peer support and peer champions were identified as the best way to improve the emotional and physical well-being of families in recovery. Respondents called for more social opportunities for families in recovery with a focus on creativity, hands-on activity, childcare support, interventions for children themselves and a broad health and well-being approach.
“Recovery for families is good as you are able to support and help the whole family which improves relationships. It is important to get rid of the bad impression that the community has of families in recovery as we are not any worse or different from families that are not in recovery.”
The Families in Recovery model
The Families in Recovery Project will be led and run by the community either independently or with the support of recovery services. The project will empower and enable families and communities to address their needs in recovery so that they remain in recovery and have less need of statutory or non-statutory services. The establishment of the project will improve self-reliance and resilience in the community, so that families who are in recovery are perceived positive role models and celebrated by the whole community. A team of trained and paid Family Connectors and Family Connector Volunteers have been recruited from within and outside the treatment community. The Family Connectors will soon be offering support across the community to families who are in treatment and recovery through phone and 1:1 support, coffee mornings, fun days and activities and a mdoerated online forum.
About Central and South Tottenham
88% of the Tottenham population live in areas the top 20% most deprived nationally of which 15% of Tottenham live in the top 5% most deprived (Haringey Council, Ward Profile, 2012). 41% of children in Tottenham live in poverty (End Child Poverty Campaign 2012). Children in Tottenham are more likely to be obese than and have lower educational attainment than the more affluent West of the borough.
Parental substance misuse
Estimates of the scale of parental substance misuse suggest that 250,000-350,000 children had problem drug-using parents and 780,000-1.3 million children had parents with an alcohol problem. A 2009 study suggests that the figures are higher: around 3.4 million children in the UK under 16 live with an adult who was “at least” binge drinking. The Government’s Drug Strategy 2010 reported that a third of the UK treatment population have childcare responsibilities. A two-year analysis of child protection database notifications 2007-09 found that in 22% of all serious case reviews alcohol is a factor. In another study, 62% of children who were subject to care proceedings were from families with parental alcohol misuse.’ The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) suggest that between 50%-90% of families on social workers’ child care caseloads are there as a result of parental substance misuse.
To explore the impact of substance misuse on children and young people in Haringey, COSMIC and The Children’s Trust commissioned Empowering Children, Young People and Families: Widening Access to Substance Misuse Services (Sinead Brophy Consulting 2009). The findings suggested that 4,450 children under sixteen had an alcohol or drug misusing parent, and that of these 900 children faced profound and multiple risks through parental drug/alcohol misuse. National Treatment Agency (NTA) analysis in 2010 showed that Haringey’s rate of parents with drug issues was one of the highest in London.
How Families in Recovery is funded
The ‘Families in Recovery’ Project was initially funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government through the ‘Our Place’ scheme and now operates through fundraising, grant-making trusts and investment.
If you would like to make a donation or have fundraising ideas, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
- Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) (2004) “Hidden Harm” 2003; Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England.
- Brandon, M. Bailey, S and Belderson P, (2010) ‘Building on Learning from Serious Case reviews’
- Forrester & Harwin (2007) ‘Silent voices: Supporting children and young people affected by parental alcohol misuse’ and ‘Swept Under the carpet: Children affected by parental alcohol misuse.’
- Manning et al. (2009) ‘New estimates of the number of children living with substance misusing parents.’
- Sinead Brophy Consulting. (2009) ‘Empowering children, young people and families – widening access to substance misuse services.’