Information sources

  Alcohol information

Adfam offers information to families of alcohol and drug users

Alcohol Concern provides general information about alcohol, including the publications listed below, and details of alcohol advisory services. Contact:

Alcohol Concern’s Parenting and Alcohol Project has developed resources and training for alcohol as well as parenting professionals on working with problem drinking parents, to protect and improve the quality of life and opportunities of their children

Support for children & young people

Alateen gives children the opportunity to meet with other young people in similar situations. The number for local groups can be found by contacting: 020 7403 0888 or

The Hideout provides help, information and support for children and young people on domestic violence – whether they are currently living with violence, have experienced violence in the past or if they know someone else going through it and are looking for help and information

The Carers National Association can provide information about local young carers projects 020 7490 8898

ChildLine 0800 1111

Connexions Direct can help young people with information and advice on various issues including health and relationships with family and friends 080 800 13219 or

The Health Development Agency offers health information websites for young people: Mind, Body and Soul for young people aged 14-16; Lifebytes for young people aged 11-14; Galaxy for young people aged 7-11; Welltown for young people aged 5-7

National Children’s Bureau promotes the interests and well-being of all children and young people across every aspect of their lives. Contact: 020 7843 6000 or

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) helpline 0808 800 5000

STARS (Support Therapeutic, Advocacy and Outreach Services) supports children and young people whose parents have drink and drug problems. Contact: 0115 942 2974 or or

Think About Drink (NHS site) offers information about alcohol aimed at young people

Support for parents

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) run self-help groups for people who are giving up alcohol because they have a drink problem. Contact Head Office 01904 644026

Local Alcohol Services for support and information. There are many alcohol advice centres throughout the country. They offer a friendly, free and confidential service and will be happy to help you. Look in the telephone directory under ‘Alcohol’, phone Drinkline (0800 917 8282) or look on the services directory at for details of a centre near you.

The National Family and Parenting Institute works by researching the concerns of families and the support available, trialling new ways of providing support to families, bringing together organisations and knowledge and providing information direct to families.

Newpin is an organisation working with families to help break the cycle of destructive family behaviour. Contact: 020 7358 5900 or or

Parentline Plus offers support and information to anyone parenting a child 0808 800 2222 or

Examples of children & families services

The Chrysalis Project works in West Sussex with children and families where parental drug and alcohol misuse is an issue. Contact: 01903 237 482 or

Cosmic offers support in Haringey, London to children and their families who are affected by a parent’s alcohol or drug misuse. Contact: 020 8800 6999 or free helpline 0800 389 5257 (children only) or

The Family Alcohol Service works in Camden, London with families that are affected by parental drinking. The service works with both the drinking and the non-drinking family members including children. Contact: 020 7383 3817

Resources and reading

Alcohol Concern (1995) Concerned about someone’s drinking, London, Alcohol Concern. This leaflet covers some common problems families experience around drinking, looking after yourself and where to get help. Available from Alcohol Concern, see above. Surviving Winter health stats and report.

Alcohol Concern/Health Education Authority (1997) Say when…How much is too much? London, Alcohol Concern. This leaflet helps you work out how much you are drinking and whether it is a problem, with tips for cutting down and advice if it is a struggle. Available from Alcohol Concern, see above.

Alcohol Concern (2001) Brief Interventions, London, Alcohol Concern. Available from Alcohol Concern, see above.

Alcohol Concern (2003) Health impacts of alcohol, London, Alcohol Concern. Available from Alcohol Concern, see above.

Alcohol Concern (2001) Screening tools for healthcare settings, London, Alcohol Concern. Available from Alcohol Concern, see above.

Brisby, T., Baker, S. and Hedderwick, T. (1997) Under the influence: coping with parents who drink too much. A report on the needs of the children of problem drinking parents, London, Alcohol Concern.

Carter, R. (2003) The Stella project report: separate issues, shared solution, Greater London Domestic Violence Project 3 rd Floor, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA.

Cleaver, H., Unell, I. and Aldgate, J. (1999) Children’s needs – parenting capacity. The impact of parental mental illness, problem alcohol and drug use, and domestic violence on children’s development, London, The Stationery Office.

Department of Health (1999) Working Together to Safeguard Children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (

Encare is the European network for children affected by risky environments within the family, including parental problem drinking. It is a 13 country collaboration that has developed a website for professionals who come into contact or work with children affected by parental problem drinking

Houston, A., Kork, S. and MacLeod, M. (1997) Beyond the limit: children who live with parental alcohol misuse, London, ChildLine.

Kroll, B. & Taylor, A. (2003) Parental substance misuse and child welfare, London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd.

Robinson, B.E. & Rhoden, J. L. (1998) Working with Children of Alcoholics: The Practitioners Handbook (2nd Edition), Newbury Park, CA, Sage Publications.

Robinson, W. and Dunne, M. (1999) Alcohol, child care and parenting – a handbook for practitioners, London, NSPCC.

Robinson, W. and Hassle, J. (2001) Alcohol problems and the family – from stigma to solution, London, ARP (Alcohol Recovery Project)/NSPCC.

Social Care Institute for Excellence (2000) Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health Problems: working with families (


Social Work – Another Way website provides tools and resources for child and family social work, therapeutic crisis intervention with families for social care and childcare practitioners

Social Work, Alcohol and Drugs website provides social workers with accessible information on substance use that is geared specifically towards the social work profession, its roles, values and responsibilities

The Alcohol, Drugs and the Family Research Programme at the University of Bath

The Alcohol, Drugs and the Family Research Programme at the University of Bath has produced a new, user-friendly and practical resource for professionals, designed to provide all the guidance needed to set up and maintain a service or dedicated post for the children and families of problem alcohol users

Tunnard, J. (2002) Parental problem drinking and its impact on children, Research in Practice.

Velleman, R. (1993) Alcohol and the family, London, Institute of Alcohol Studies.

Velleman, R. and Orford, J. (1999) Risk & resilience: adults who were the children of problem drinkers, London, Harwood.

Velleman, R. and Templeton, L. (2003) Alcohol, drugs and the family: a UK research programme, European Addiction Research, no. 9(3), pp103-112.

Winnicott, D.W. (1964) The child, the family and the outside world, Harmondsworth, Penguin.