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A place for professionals to develop innovative practice, connect with their peers and put families first.

Engaging young people in Newham

Adfam is developing a project in Newham to establish new youth support services for young people directly affected by hidden harm.

We are really excited to be developing new youth support services in Newham for young people directly affected by hidden harm. 

The Hidden Harm agenda (pdf) was published in the 2003 Inquiry, highlighting the serious consequences of parental substance misuse on children and young people. It is estimated that there are between 250,000 and 350,000 children of problem drug users in the UK, whilst as many as 2.5 million children and young people live with a dependent drinker.  

In Newham during 2015-16 there were 695 hospital admissions that were due to drugs and 5,060 hospital admissions for alcohol misuse.

Parental problem drug use (and alcohol misuse) can cause serious harm to children at every age, from conception to adulthood.  Our Family Recovery Project in Greenwich aims to redress this.

In Newham we will be working directly with young people aged 11-18. Some of this will be 1:1 support to build confidence, resilience, coping mechanisms and identifying aspirations.

Whilst conducting a local consultation, staff, parents and young people told us they would like more opportunities for young people to take part in youth work activities and trips out. Young people in Newham have already expressed interest in a regular youth club combined with challenging outdoor team activities to build their confidence.

One of the aims of the project is to support young people to re-connect with their adolescence, ensure they build effective friendships, are able to attend provision and reduce the sense of isolation.

Over time we will support young people in Newham to develop a strong voice so they can talk directly to decision and policy makers. Young people will co-produce the programme and will be involved in developing peer support and an online resource.

This project will also involve working directly with the parent(s), addressing the impact of substance misuse on the family. We will also be organising family activities focusing on positive family time and improving communication within the family. We will work with the whole family to showcase their achievements and encourage other families to get the support they need.

So far we have begun to take referrals, network with other services, appointed a half time youth worker and are currently identifying a suitable base to house our youth support sessions.

Please feel free to download and share our flyer (pdf). 

For more information about this project, please contact Steve Curtis, Family Support Development Coordinator in Newham.