Recent research estimates that 2.6 million children in the UK are living with parents who are drinking hazardously and 705,000 are living with dependent drinkers.

The Hidden Harm project offers support to children and young people between the ages of 5 to 18 years old who have been affected by familial alcohol and/or substance misuse.

We offer children and young people one to one therapeutic support alongside access to group activities.

The project offers support to children and young people to ensure their voice is heard in often complex and troubled circumstances 

”Since I met my Hidden Harm worker my life has changed in a positive way. He has helped me to understand that my mum’s issues and drinking habits is not my fault. He has always been there for me in the worst time and good.”

Girl, 16

The Hidden Harm project supports children and young people to;

  • Feel less isolated and that they are not alone in their situation
  • Understand they are not to blame or at fault for what is happening
  • Understand they are not responsible for what is happening

Children and young people are supported to build resilience and develop coping strategies to enable them to feel safe at home and in the community. They are supported to take part in fun activities, in particular during breaks from school. Activities are child centred and focus on what children and young people want to do and include things like cinema trips and outdoor activities.

The project aims to increase family awareness of the impact of alcohol and/or substance misuse on parenting and children’s physical and emotional wellbeing and development.

I’m very happy with the work the Hidden Harm worker has been doing with my daughter. Since she has started seeing him every week I can see her improvement and changes in the way she copes and manages some situations in her life. For the first time I can see she opens to express her feelings.

Mother, Girl 16

Hidden Harm contribution to the Children’s Commissioners Office report

Most recently the Hidden Harm project was asked by the Children’s Commissioners Office to contribute to the report, ‘Are they shouting because of me?’ - Voices of children living in households with domestic abuse, parental substance misuse and mental health issues. To find out more about how our young people contributed to this report, click here

Make a referral

Referrals will be accepted from any professional or agency. Referrals are also welcomed directly from parents and carer’s when children and young people have been emotionally affected by substance misuse and referrals are also welcome from children and young people themselves.

Please see the referral criteria for the Hidden Harm Project:

  • Children and young people between the ages of 5­-18 years old.
  • Identified parental substance misuse issue; alcohol and/or drug use.
  • Parental consent for child/young person to engage in the project.
  • Assessment undertaken (CAF/pre­CAF, Child in Need, Child Protection) and a need identified for the involvement of this specialist service.

The Hidden Harm Project Referral Form can be downloaded here: PDF Form.

Contact us

For more information contact Lee Morphew on [email protected] or call 07739 314 796