Vivienne Evans Chief Executive Adfam www.adfam.org.uk
Families, Drugs and Alcohol • There are up to 7 million people in England that are affected by someone problematic drug or alcohol use. • Between 250,000-350,000 children are affected by parental drug use and up to 2 million children are affected by parental alcohol use. • c.150,000 family members are affected – either directly or indirectly – by drug activity in prison at any one time. • Research shows that involving families can improve engagement of users in treatment and can improve outcomes – not only for the user but the family as a whole.
Adfam’s Mission Adfam is the voice of families affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use, the leading national organisation providing support, information and services for these families.
Adfam’s key activities • Informing We provide a wide range of information to families to help equip them to manage their situation. We also offer opinion and evidence to professionals and government to influence policy. • Challenging Using information gathered directly from families, and from research and evaluation findings, we challenge and influence policy/decision makers and the media to understand and represent more accurately the issues affecting families of drug and alcohol users. • Supporting We run direct services to families coming into contact with the criminal justice system and provide training and consultancy to help family agencies, community groups and the statutory sector to improve their ability to help their local communities.
Why engaging families matters • Families are identified as one of the pathways in the National Reducing Reoffending Action Plan • With the increased overlap of DIP and NOMS work Models of Care is having a greater impact. • One of the new quality requirements for drug set out by Updated Models of Care 2006 states that treatment providers must ensure that partners, families and children should be provided with support in their own right in order reduce the overall drug related harms.
Impact on families • Social • Physical • Psychological • Financial • How do families respond?
Needs of families • Coping with stigma • Accessing services • Being involved in treatment • Range of support services
Why involve families? • Personal • Strategic • Economic Why not?
Adfam’s Criminal Justice Work • Prisons • Drug Intervention Programme • Young People • Parenting • Training • Consultancy
Adfam’s prison work HMP HollowayOne full time support worker HMP PeterboroughTwo full time support workers HMP BrixtonOne full time support workers Greenwhich and Southwark DIPAdfam counsellor working as part of the DIP teams Somali ProjectProviding specific help to the Somali community and will be active at HMYOI and RC Feltham
Case Studies from Adfam Holloway An imprisoned drug user asked us to contact her mother who was looking after her daughter. The mother was at the end of her tether and not willing to give her imprisoned daughter another chance. Through our continuous support and mediation the user engaged in several courses in prison, looking at drug use and resettlement. The mother felt more positive regarding her daughter’s new focus and considered letting her daughter come home on a Home Detention Curfew. The daughter was released and both parties felt supported and their needs addressed giving them another chance to sustain the user’s treatment and family life.
Case Studies from Adfam Holloway An 18-year old user, who underwent an alcohol detox in prison, was placed on suicide watch and was very tearful, disturbed, distressed. She was unwilling to engage in any support. The inmate referred her mother to the Adfam team for support. It came to light that her mother had in fact given birth to the inmate in the very same prison. This explained why she had been so distressed and the information aided in her case management, resulting in her being give end the appropriate support.
Challenges and Opportunities • What works? • What doesn’t? • Where next?