A group of MPs have launched a manifesto in the House of Commons to tackle the issue of children living with alcoholic parents.
Research suggests that more than 2.5 million children in the UK live with a parent who drinks too much. The all-parliamentary group is urging the government to take urgent action to protect these “innocent victims of drink”, and has issued 10 demands for government action:
- Take responsibility for children of alcoholics
- Create a national strategy for children of alcoholics
- Properly fund local support for children of alcoholics
- Increase availability of support for families battling alcohol problems
- Boost education and awareness for children
- Boost education and training for professionals with responsibility for children
- Develop a plan to change public attitudes
- Revise the national strategy to tackle alcohol harm to focus on price and availability
- Curtail the promotion of alcohol, especially when it can be witnessed by children
- Take responsibility for reducing rates of alcohol harm
Children living with alcoholic parents have a much greater likelihood of experiencing difficulties at school, developing an eating disorder and considering suicide. They are also four times more likely to become an alcoholic too.
The manifesto states, “We have to break the cycle of this terrible disease – and that starts by breaking the silence around Britain’s biggest secret scandal.”
The group has uncovered an absence of child protection strategies for children living with alcoholic parents, and a lack of funding to deal with the matter in many areas across the UK. Their manifesto aims to encourage the government to take action against this child protection issue.