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Plans announced to help children living with alcoholic parents

£6 million funding designed to help 200,000 children in England

The Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced plans to help children living with alcoholic parents. The Department of Health and Social Care is seeking to identify children at risk more quickly, and to provide them with rapid access to support and advice.

The package of measures is backed by £6 million funding designed to help an estimated 200,000 children in England living with alcohol-dependent parents.

The measures include:

Local authorities will be invited to bid for funding by coming up with innovative solutions based on local need, with priority given to areas where more children are affected.

Responding to the announcement, Stuart Gallimore, President of the Association of Directors of Children's Services, said:

"In addition to domestic abuse and mental health problems, parental substance misuse continues to be a growing reason for the involvement of children's social care in safeguarding children. Given the scale of this issue the funding announced that local authorities are invited to bid for will only help some children in some areas get the help and support that they need. More focus and, crucially, investment is needed to support all children affected by these issues.

"Children's services are facing a funding gap of at least £2bn by 2020 in the face of increased demand for our services. This is seriously hampering our ability to improve outcomes for children and their families as local authorities find themselves having to cut back on vital early help and preventative services that we know make a huge difference to children and families' lives, by supporting them at the earliest opportunity, before they reach crisis point. Without adequate and sustainable funding for children's services, without prioritising and resourcing preventative services children and families will be much worse off."

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