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An Innovative Approach to Delivering a Family-Based Intervention to Address Parental Alcohol Misuse: Qualitative Findings from a Pilot Project

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hayley AldersonORCiD, Dr Andrea Mayrhofer, Debbie Smart, Dr Cassey Muir, Dr Ruth McGovernORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Within child welfare systems, the issue of parental alcohol misuse (PAM) and the responsibility for supporting children affected by PAM impacts on multiple health and social care services. An innovation pilot project (IPP) was set up to reduce the fragmentation between services and to help identify children affected by PAM. The current study presents findings regarding the IPP, examining its implementation, the service delivery, and the perceived impact for family members. Qualitative data were collected from 41 participants. This included interviews with alcohol-misusing parents (n = 13), affected adult family members (n = 5), and children affected by PAM (n = 9). Two focus groups and three one-to-one interviews were conducted with project workers (n = 7) and multi-agency service managers (n = 7). Data were analysed thematically relating to three main themes: (1) innovation in team composition and multi-disciplinary team working, (2) innovative ways of working, and (3) the benefits of a whole-family approach. The findings highlighted the importance of time for the team to ‘bed in’ and come together under one structure, a focus and oversight on whole-family care, and the importance of offering early, targeted, and flexible interventions to prevent crisis points and manage the consequences of PAM. Consideration will need to be given to joint commissioning to strengthen family-focused support.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alderson H, Mayrhofer A, Smart D, Muir C, McGovern R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Year: 2022

Volume: 19

Issue: 13

Online publication date: 01/07/2022

Acceptance date: 28/06/2022

Date deposited: 12/07/2022

ISSN (print): 1661-7827

ISSN (electronic): 1660-4601

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19138086


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Funder referenceFunder name
Public Health England