Families affected by drugs and alcohol should be given time to build positive relationships and the support and funding must reflect that, a new report has urged.
Research by the Corra Foundation concludes that building relationships with relatives or care workers is an “essential” part of the support for children in families with problems related to drink or drugs.
The charity recommends that government funding and organisations who provide support “need to recognise and respect the time it takes to meaningfully build relationships and account for this in the grants, tenders and commissions they manage”.
The report adds: “They must accept that limitations on the length of support offered to families are unhelpful and are likely to be incongruent with building trusted relationships.
“Service providers, commissioners and funders must also reflect on how success is measured.
“There needs to be understanding that the quality and longevity of relationships, and other less tangible or easy-to-measure outcomes, will give a more rounded reflection of the impact of support than simple numerical data.”
Thanking families and practitioners who took part in the research, Corra Foundation’s deputy CEO Carolyn Sawers said: “What they said showed just how crucial relationships are. Every connection matters; whether that is within families, between a practitioner and the family, or between workers.
“People were clear that a child is best supported when a parent is also receiving good quality support.
“As each family member will have different needs, it critical that each person is supported in the right way for them.
“This means that good relationships throughout the whole, complex system of support for a family are essential.
“We look forward to sharing the report and to having conversations with others about how to put the recommendations into practice.”