Children and families

We know that you don’t have to be directly addicted to a substance or a behaviour to suffer from addiction. Whether you are a partner, family member, friend or colleague, it’s not unusual to feel trapped in the trauma of addiction, feeling anxious, guilty, confused, ashamed and even responsible for the actions of those with substance misuse problems.

Our depth and range of support recognises that dependency on drugs and/or alcohol can have detrimental effects on the wellbeing of the whole family, including children, which is why we use the knowledge gained from our direct work with children and families to develop children and families services that deliver successful outcomes. 

Dependency is often a contributing factor in families experiencing domestic abuse and neglect, and can often impact the stability of both work and social life if left untreated.

We have created a platform from which we have embedded our children and family interventions across the whole of the organisation to provide unique and innovative approaches to recovery. 

shutterstock_186933434_0.jpg"All the support we have received collectively has meant that we were able to manage and cope better during stressful situations" - Service user

A key part of the government’s current drug strategy places particular focus on the children of parents with drug and alcohol problems. Our own research has shown that family-focused intervention can break intergenerational patterns of substance misuse and address negative behaviour traits that have become normalised and entrenched over time. 

Within WDP we have four well-established family and children services at The Core Trust, HertSpeak, One Herts One Family and North Westminster Drug and Alcohol Service (NWDAS).

Collectively, our children and families services have very high attendance levels and reach out to higher numbers of women than the national average, in part as a result of our commitment to building strong relationships between child and carer.

Our services such as NWDAS work with families affected by domestic abuse, supporting survivors and perpetrators alongside their substance misuse treatment. Within One Herts One Family we work with a variety of complex needs, one of which must be domestic abuse or drug and alcohol problems, which are or have been impacting on the wellbeing of the parents and children.

Our work with children and families includes:

  • One-to-one sessions for individuals affected by problematic drug and/or alcohol use
  • Age-appropriate interventions with children and young people
  • Systemic Family Therapy to recognise the needs of the whole family and offer an approach to support whole family recovery
  • Practical parenting support through one-to-one and group sessions, including support with play techniques
  • Couples counselling support for clients and their partners to help them improve their relationships and prioritise the needs of the children
  • Play therapy for children, giving children a safe place to find their voice and express their emotions through play
  • Specialist work for clients in the criminal justice system and their families using family therapy and working with extended family members, including sessions in prison to make reparations
  • Protective behaviours to build resilience and resistance around negative experiences
  • One-to-one support for teenagers around self-harm, eating disorders, anger management and self-esteem
  • Support groups to remove the stigma surrounding substance abuse in the family
  • Peer mentoring opportunities for parents and family members who have engaged with treatment or support

Please read our latest Children and Families Impact Report here