Parents Under Pressure™ Improving parenting in families with drug or alcohol problems

Not all parents who drink or take drugs harm their children, but children living with parents with alcohol or drug problems can be at more risk of harm and neglect.

Getting parents the right help and support as early as possible is crucial in helping them to develop secure and healthy relationships with their children.

Parents Under Pressure™ aims to support parents who are on a drug or alcohol treatment programme. It can help them keep their recovery on track. 

We help mums and dads to:

  • build their strengths as a parent
  • develop a safe, caring relationship with their baby
  • feel calm and in control
  • learn practical parenting tips and life skills, like financial management.

A couple sitting on a sofa and smiling at a practitioner

How it works

Parents Under Pressure™ is available to parents of children under the age of 8.

We visit mums and dads at home and visits are designed to meet the individual needs of each family. The whole programme lasts for 20 weeks.

We aim to make families happier together by helping parents with the pressure and stress of looking after a young child and managing their drug or alcohol treatment.

We provide advice to parents on how to deal with challenging behaviour and how to deal with their own emotions. This includes:

  • using praise and reward to encourage good behaviour
  • developing a good relationship with their child, recognising their feelings and needs (attachment theory)
  • dealing with their emotions, allowing them to keep calm and focus on being a parent. 

Using mindfulness to help parents

Mindfulness encourages people to focus on a feeling of relaxation and inner calm. It helps to boost happiness and confidence levels whilst also reducing anxiety, stress and irritability.

Working together to help children and families

We work alongside other agencies involved with the family, such as drug and alcohol teams, local children’s services, GPs and other local health services.

Parents Under Pressure™ was developed in Australia where it has been shown to help some families. We’re testing it to see what a difference it can make for families here in the UK.

Children's stories

"He didn't judge me, he listened to me and allowed me to go at my own pace."

Read Millie's story

Evaluating the impact

Find out how we're evaluating Parents Under Pressure™.

Learn more

Where Parents Under Pressure™ is available


01253 955 709


0141 440 6300


01793 683 100


01925 873 000


Who Parents Under Pressure™ is for.

Find out more

Minding the Baby

Minding the Baby is an early intervention programme designed to enhance the mother's relationship with her child.
Minding the Baby service

Baby Steps

Ante-natal programme helping vulnerable parents cope with the pressures of having a baby.
Baby Steps service

Donate now

Last year a third of all calls to our helpline were about neglect, a figure that's even higher at Christmas. Donate now and help shine a light on children left in the dark.

Make a donation

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is deliberately hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.
Read more about physical abuse


Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child's basic needs. It's dangerous and children can suffer serious and long-term harm.
Read more about neglect

Sexual abuse

A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact, and it can happen online.
Read more about sexual abuse

Child abuse and neglect

Find out what child abuse is, how to spot the signs, who is affected and what you should do if you're worried about a child
More on abuse and neglect

Donate now

Last year a third of all calls to our helpline were about neglect, a figure that's even higher at Christmas. Donate now and help shine a light on children left in the dark.

Donate now

Are You There?

We're calling on the government to help our Childline service be there for every child dealing with meantal health issues. 

Learn more