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PHE awards funding to tackle alcohol abuse

Public Health England has provided nine projects with funding to enable them to develop their work supporting children and families affected by alcohol abuse.

The nine projects have been awarded the £4.5 million innovation fund from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is managed by PHE, to help improve the lives of adults and children impacted by alcohol.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: "This Innovation Fund is a terrific opportunity for councils to maximise their pioneering work to support families whose lives have been affected by alcohol.

"The causes and the solutions for tackling alcohol misuse are multi-factorial. It requires close working with partners, imagination and hard work. However, when we get it right it can have a tremendous impact on the lives affected," he added.

The winning projects have been selected for demonstrating a new and creative approach to reach and support families whose lives have been affected by alcohol.

They include:

- Swindon which is running a parenting programme for 840 parents over the course of the project, and providing support for 370 children through early help services, where parental alcohol use is identified.

- Greater Manchester (Rochdale, Bolton, Bury, Salford, and Trafford) which is offering continued support for alcohol-dependent parents leaving prison and their children across the five areas.

- North Tyneside which is aiming to double the number of children who are identified as living with alcohol-dependent parents and increase the number of these parents receiving treatment by over 50%.

According to PHE, it is estimated that there are 200,000 children in England living with 120,000 parents who have alcohol problems. PHE’s recent annual treatment statistics show that there were 16,000 adults receiving treatment for alcohol who were living with children and a further 18,000 who are parents but not currently living with their children. The figures show that the vast majority (82%) of children with parents receiving alcohol treatment weren’t receiving support from children’s social care.

PHE is also announcing a call for bids for a share of a £6 million capital fund for local authorities, which can be used to improve services and facilities for people with alcohol problems. PHE is encouraging local authorities to submit an application to bid for money by 21 January 2019, with successful projects announced next spring and money being made available from 2019 to 2020.

To support work between alcohol and drug services and children’s social care, PHE has also published new guidance for local authorities on safeguarding children with alcohol and drug dependent parents. This document updates previous PHE guidance for local authorities on the importance of developing protocols between alcohol and drug treatment and children and family social care services.

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