Houses of ParliamentAll Party Parliamentary Group on Children of Alcoholics

The Children's Society is part of the newly created All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Children of Alcoholics.

The APPG has been set up to represent and give a voice to the one in five British children living with a parent who drinks too much.

It aims to:

  • champion the cause of children of dependent and hazardous drinkers
  • conduct research
  • raise issues of concern and to make recommendations to government and other policy makers.

The group is chaired by The Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP along with Fiona Bruce MP, Baroness Hollins. Caroline Flint MP and Gavin Shuker MP. It includes members of the House of Lords. Representatives from charities including The Children's Society, Nacoa, Adfam and Turning Point are also sharing their knowledge and expertise.

In September 2016, the group met at the House of Commons to start work to draw up the first Manifesto for Children of Alcoholics for debate in Parliament. Jo Manning, national lead for substance misuse at The Children's Society, presented at the meeting after being invited to share her expert knowledge. The meeting also included testimonials from Calum Best and Lauren Booth, as well as television presenter, Kim Woodburn.


** Latest News: Manifesto launch - February 15

The first ever manifesto for children of alcoholics was launched during COA Week 2017. Liam Byrne unveiled the call for change at the House of Commons on February 15.

The manifesto calls on the Government to:

  • Take responsibility for children of alcoholics
  • Create a national strategy for children of alcoholics
  • Properly fund local support for children of alcoholics
  • Increase availability of support for families battling alcohol problems
  • Boost education and awareness for children
  • Boost education and training for professionals with a responsibility for children
  • Develop a plan to change public attitudes
  • Revise the national strategy to tackle alcohol harm to focus on price and availability
  • Curtail the promotion of alcohol - especially to children
  • Take responsibility for reducing rates of alcohol harm

Watch MP Liam Byrne and COA blogger Josh Connelly talk about the manifesto launch.

The manifesto and the work of the APPG was highlighted in an emotional debate on alcohol harm in Westminster Hall on February 2. As a result of that meeting, public health minister Nicola Blackwood has promised to produce a new strategy to help the children of alcoholics.

:: Read a statement from Liam Byrne MP in reaction to the debate and the commitment by Government. A short film is also available.

:: See the full debate


Film from the first meeting of the APPG

You can view an introductory film from the first meeting and leave your comments. You can also share the film on Facebook and retweet it via Twitter.


Blogs and media

Josh, the child of an alcoholic and author of blog COAisathing writes for us about his experiences and what can be learned.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth MP speaks to The Guardian about his father's alcoholism and why he is backing Liam Byrne's campaign.

Read a blog written by Institute of Alcohol Studies Director Katherine Brown which looks at the current context and suggests steps the government could take to help lessen the impact on children. The blog is an abridged version of her address to the inaugural APPG for Children of Alcoholics.


Take part in a survey

As part of the work, a survey is being run asking for views from anyone working with, or with experience of, children of alcoholics.

Submissions to this survey – along with those of children’s charities and medical experts – will form the basis of the first ever Manifesto for Children of Alcoholics. All submissions will treated with strict confidentiality.


Further information

:: This moving article from Liam Byrne MP outlines his personal experience and why there needs to be more help for the children of alcoholics.

:: Hear Liam Byrne speaking for the first time about having 'loved and lost' his alcoholic father and how millions of children are still being scarred for life by the disease.

:: Read further media coverage about the APPG.

:: The state of support for England’s children of alcoholics - FOI research prepared by the Office of Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP.

:: Early day motion 750: Government support for children of alcoholics.