Too many children across the UK will miss out today. They'll miss a meal, miss an opportunity to play with other children or miss going to school. Or maybe, like Tom in the video below, miss opening a present on their eighth birthday. And why? Because one or both parents are substance misusers.
Drug and alcohol misuse causes much hidden harm, bringing chaos to children's lives. In 2005, ZCT identified the destructive cycle of drug and alcohol abuse in families as an issue where we could make a positive difference. Addaction, the UK's largest specialist drug and alcohol treatment charity, was the partner we chose to deliver this work. Together we developed the 'Breaking the Cycle' (BtC) programme.
A family-centred approach
Breaking the Cycle aims to reduce and ultimately stop intergenerational substance misuse. The programme provides an individually designed care package, which takes into account the needs of the whole family. The workers are
non-judgemental and always put children’s safety first with the focus firmly on building trusting, open relationships, so families feel able to talk honestly about their problem.
Above all, based on the successful delivery of pilot projects and rigorous external evaluation over the years, we know Breaking the Cycle works! The right intervention at the right time can transform family life for the children involved, as well as preventing them from going on to misuse drug and alcohol themselves.
Since 2005, ZCT has awarded around £2.5 million to Addaction to deliver the programme. Breaking the Cycle is now a fully sustainable programme and an integral part of Addaction's service delivery offering to families. Our funding of the programme will conclude in 2019.