This project is the national evaluation of the innovation fund for nine Local Authorities to help them improve their systems and processes for working with families and children affected by alcohol dependency and parental conflict.
As such, it has four points of focus for the nine localities:
- To get better at identifying and responding to families and children affected by alcohol dependency and parental conflict;
- To develop approaches to work with the whole family where alcohol dependency is a key issue;
- To look at the relationship between parental conflict and alcohol dependency, and what can be done to address this;
- To create system-change at the local level, including how different services work together to identify and respond to such families.
What are we doing?
As national evaluators, our main task is to work with the local evaluators of the nine projects to support their evaluation activities and, ultimately, to pull together the findings of their research. In addition, we are also conducting some additional research activities, including:
- Regular progress updates with the projects around their Theories of Change – developed by us at the start of the evaluation through workshops with each of the nine areas;
- A telephone survey of key stakeholders in the nine areas to explore what they have achieved so far around improving identification of children and families, addressing parental conflict, and achieving sustainable change;
- Case study visits to each of nine areas towards the end of project delivery.
We use Basecamp (a virtual project management/communication hub) as a way to communicate with the projects and share information provided by Public Health England, and also help facilitate 6-monthly learning events.
Why does this project matter?
Alcohol dependency and parental conflict are significant issues affecting many families in England. Recent estimates suggest that there are around 200,000 children living with adults who are dependent drinkers. The impact of this dependency on the lives of children can be significant and long-lasting and alcohol is often a major factor in causing or exacerbating parental conflict and violence, which can lead to a range of poor outcomes for children including damaging their education, employment and health.
This project is important as it focuses on how local areas can improve their systems for identifying and responding to families and children affected by alcohol dependency and parental conflict – and thereby to reduce other issues associated with this. It also aims to collect and share evidence of the positive impact of interventions aimed at reducing the negative impacts of alcohol dependency and parental conflict.
Where can I find out more about this topic?
Public Health England
Department of Health and Social Care
Department of Work and Pensions