Days before the surprise UK election was called the government told Public Health England, a government agency for health and wellbeing, to develop a strategy to help children with alcohol dependent parents.
Around 2.5m children currently live with a parent who is drinking hazardously. Having such an upbringing increases our chances of a range problems, including alcohol dependence.
Health minister Nicola Blackwood last week instructed the agency to “support the development of a strategy to address the needs of children living with alcohol dependent parents” by the end of March.
“We’re delighted,” says Hilary Henriques, head of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, which has been campaigning to raise attention to the issue since 1990. “It only took us 27 years!”
“We have been working with Liam Byrne MP [Lab] to bring attention to the problems these children face since an initial meeting in July 2015. It is extraordinary that a hand-written note from him has propelled children of alcoholics to the top of the alcohol harm agenda.”
Blackwood promised action in February (see video) after listening to the kind of difficulties faced by children of alcohol dependents from Byrne and shadow heath minister Jonathan Ashworth, who both had alcohol dependent fathers. ■