Support the #Respect4SocialWork campaign today and celebrate the social work profession.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Rise in parental drug and alcohol misuse since first lockdown

The NSPCC has seen a rapid increase in contacts from members of the public that children are being put at risk as a result of parental drug and alcohol misuse.

Since April 2020, the number of people contacting the children’s charity with concerns about drug and alcohol misuse among parents has risen by 66%. Between January and March 2020, the NSPCC was receiving just over 700 contacts a month from worried adults. However, since the first lockdown began, that number rose to an average of 1,178 contacts a month.

Kam Thandi, Head of NSPCC Helpline says: “At the NSPCC helpline we’ve not only seen a rise in contacts and referrals but we’re also seeing families who weren’t previously known to children’s services requiring help and support for substance misuse.

“The pressures on families at the moment are unprecedented and it is no surprise that our helpline is hearing that parents and carers are struggling with substance misuse. To keep our children safe it’s vital that those who are relying on drugs and alcohol, to the extent that the care of their children is being compromised, must seek help.”

The pandemic and lockdown have resulted in children becoming much more involved in the problems they are facing at home. School closures mean children are unable to socialise or see their friends due to restrictions, resulting in a situation where there is no escape for those living with parental substance misuse.

Prolonged alcohol and drug misuse can lead to mental, psychological and physical illness. Parental drug and alcohol use does not necessarily mean that a child is t risk of abuse, but it does make it more difficult to provide safe and loving care. Potentially, this can lead to abuse or neglect and have a serious impact on a family’s emotional wellbeing.

Signs that families are struggling with parental drug or alcohol misuse include:
- mental and psychological illness
- an increasingly chaotic and unpredictable lifestyle
- domestic abuse
- children taking on caring responsibilities for their parents or siblings
- parents struggling to recognise and meet their children's needs.

The NSPCC says that as the number of families affected by the pandemic continues to rise, it is vital that the government keeps local substance misuse services available during the pandemic. The children’s charity also urges investment in services to help children and families recover from the distress and disruption of this crisis.

Kam Thandi added: “The government must also invest more in local services. Our frontline practitioners have told us that many parents and carers are struggling to access specialist support services which will help them recover from the impact of the pandemic.”

The NSPCC’s concerns are shared by Adfam, a charity which provides support to families affected by drug, alcohol or gambling addiction.

Vivienne Evans OBE, Chief Executive, Adfam, said: “A staggering 88% of the families that we surveyed in our ‘Families in Lockdown’ survey told us that the first lockdown negatively impacted on their family member’s alcohol, drug or gambling problem. A third of families experienced an increase in verbal abuse from their family member and 13% feel more concerned than usual for their safety.

“We know that with the right kind of support, children and young people can navigate this challenging time. We urge families not to wait until breaking point,” she concluded.


Working Together For Children

Make an enquiry

A multi-disciplinary organisation providing independent, high quality social work, psychological, psychiatric, therapeutic and family support services. Contact us with your requirements and speak to a member of our team who will help you today.
Make an Enquiry

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

New Deprivation of Liberty court launch for children

24/06/2022

A National Deprivation of Liberty Court dealing specifically with applications relating to deprive children of their liberty has been announced by Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division.

The court will deal with applications seeking authorisation to deprive children of their liberty and will be based at the Royal Courts of Justice under the [...]

Read Full Story

Independent review into CSE in Oldham finds child protection procedures were not followed

23/06/2022

Some children have been failed by the agencies that were meant to protect them because child protection procedures had not been properly followed, an independent assurance review into historic child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Oldham has found.

Evidence of poor practice was attributed to a structural flaw the review team found in the multi-agency system [...]

Read Full Story

Sixty Second Interview with Chloe Bach

22/06/2022

Find out more about our Business Administrator Chloe Bach who has been with WillisPalmer since 2009.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee (oat milk latte)

What 3 things would you put in Room 101?

Migraines, slugs and war

What is your favourite place in the world?

Wherever my family is (but I do love New York)

If you were on death row what [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram