Family Environment: Drug Using Parents (FEDUP) Working with parents with drug and alcohol problems

Being a parent is hard work. But it can be even more difficult if a parent has drink or drug problems. Drugs and alcohol can:

  • make it difficult for parents to deal with family life
  • put pressure on relationships
  • affect children's feelings, their relationship with their parents and how they're looked after.

Family Environment: Drug Using Parents (FEDUP) helps children and families where one or both parents misuse drugs or alcohol. It's based on a programme originally developed by us in Grimsby.

It gives children aged between 5 and 12 years a safe, confidential space to express their feelings and build self-esteem. Talking with other young people in a similar situation can help children feel less alone.

FEDUP helps parents understand how their children are affected by their drug or alcohol problems. It can help them reduce the effect on their children.

girl sitting a table playing with finger puppets

How it works

FEDUP begins with a 4-week assessment period with parent and child so we can learn more about the family and the support they need.

Working with children

Children join a group of up to 5 young people for 10 weekly sessions which aim to provide children with drug or alcohol misusing parents with:

  • a safe space
  • mutual support from other young people to build self-esteem
  • a better understanding of drug and alcohol problems
  • the opportunity to develop life skills to improve their ability to deal with difficult circumstances.

Sessions involve:

  • structured discussions
  • games
  • role play
  • craft activities.

These activities help children to relax and have fun.

We work in groups and talk about topics such as family secrets and domestic violence, first aid, healthy eating, safety in the home and bullying.

Working with parents

We also work with parents in one-to-one sessions. These take place over 8 weeks and explore:

  • how substance misuse affects you, your child and family life
  • your own history and experiences
  • keeping your child safe
  • your child's life history
  • child development
  • support networks.

In the final 2 sessions parents and children work together to develop a safety plan, which helps the child to identify circumstances where they might be at risk and take action to ensure they don't experience any harm.

Children's stories

"I even felt lonely when mum and dad were in the house because mentally they were completely out of it."

Read Sophie's story

Evaluating the impact

Find out how we're evaluating FEDUP.

Learn more

Where FEDUP is available

Blackpool

01253 955 709

Cardiff

02920 108080

Coventry

0247 622 2456

Grimsby

01472 803 500

Liverpool

01515561000

Newcastle-under-Lyme

01782 958100

Warrington

01925 873 000

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