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State of the Sector: Drug and Alcohol Family Support

9 Dec 2016

Adfam has released a ground-breaking new report providing an overview into the state of the drug and alcohol family support sector.

The field has seen a huge amount of change over the past few years, with dramatically reduced budgets, services being commissioned in different ways and changes to the way people use drugs and alcohol and the harm it causes to them and their families. 

We conducted two surveys to find out what was really going on in the sector, speaking in detail to a number of managers of family support services.

Key findings included:

  • Roughly half of respondents reported having seen changes in the way their service is commissioned.
  • Half of services reported a decrease in funding; a quarter an increase.
  • Interviews with senior staff painted a picture of a stretched workforce, and volunteers filling gaps left by paid staff.
  • Many families seeking help have complex needs, requiring support and advice on mental health, housing and debt as well as substance use. 
  • Services are responding to challenges innovatively and proactively, exploring opportunities to adapt  and develop the provision of family support.


State of the Sector: Drug and alcohol family support - Executive summary (pdf)

State of the Sector: Drug and alcohol family support - Full report (pdf)