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Life Works Childrens Foundation

Supporting children from addicted families

Children's charityThe Life Works Children’s Foundation is a registered charity with the Charity Commission (Registered Charity Number 1151308).  It’s sole purpose is to help children growing up in addicted households.

As many as 10% of children (1 million in total) are living in a family where at least one parent or care-giver is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. The testimonies of children growing up in addicted households paints a bleak picture of emotional and physical neglect. Life Works is setting up the Life Works Children’s Foundation to deliver a world leading therapeutic, age appropriate intervention which has the potential to change the lives of children and break the cycle of addiction.

The Life Works Foundation programme model will be based on leading programmes developed in America by centres such as The Betty Ford Children’s Programme (successfully running for 20 years), the Caron Foundation and Father Martin’s Ashley. The programme is designed to be delivered over two and half days. The intensive support provides long term benefits for those that attend with similar programmes having been independently evaluated in America by leading universities, which showed improved outcomes long after children had completed the programme.

The foundation phase of the programme will see Life Works adapt the US programme for a UK setting, co-ordinate eight UK clinicians to be trained to deliver the programme, for the children’s programme to be delivered in at a London location (with programmes post pilot being run nationally), with 40 children in total participating. We will evaluate the outcomes of the programme and plan the launch of the ongoing self-sustaining Life Works Children’s Foundation funded through charitable donations.

Programme delivery

The programme will initially be overseen by an interim Life Works’ Chief Executive and a Clinical Lead responsible for arranging training for clinicians to deliver the programme, oversee the design of the four initial trial sites and raise money to fund the work beyond the first year. The highly regarded children’s charity, Kids Company, has confirmed it could fill all the places which are available during the pilot phase of the programme. Referrals will also be taken from statutory drug and alcohol services, family support services, schools, social services and carer’s centres. A marketing and awareness raising programme will ensure that potential referrers are aware of and understand the programme. The interim Chief Executive will be supported by Life Works administrative and clinical staff, as well as external consultants to help deliver the programme.

  • The Problem

    10% of children live in a family where at least one parent is addicted to drugs or alcohol and there are

    22% of children live with a parent who engages in hazardous drinking

    300,000 children live with a heroin, methadone or cocaine (including crack) using parent

    62% of children subject to care proceedings are from families with parental alcohol misuse

    Anything between 240,000 and 963,000 children are exposed to domestic violence; 40% of which is alcohol related

    Marriages where one or both partners have a drink problem are twice as likely to end in divorce as those not affected by alcohol

    One third of cases of child abuse are associated with alcohol consumption

  • Our Vision

    To ensure that any child from an addicted family:

    Can learn that the addiction is not their fault;

    Is given the hope of a better life through understanding that there is a way out and that they can break the damaging cycle of addiction;

    Has access to free life changing therapeutic programme and ongoing support which is age appropriate and culturally sensitive, providing them with tools to better manage the challenges they face.

  • The Solution

    A children’s recovery programme that is educational, therapeutic and recreational – for children between the age of 7 and 12

    Accessible across the country and available to anyone who needs it regardless of financial circumstances

    Delivered over two and a half days and accessed over a long weekend or during school holidays

    Based on a leading international model which will be adapted to the UK setting

  • Changing Lives

    Children who attend the programme will:

    Trust people more than before

    Recognise they were not alone – other children had similar problems to them

    Recognise that alcohol and drugs lay at the root of many of the problems they have faced at home

    Feel less angry with their parents following attendance at the programme

  • Expertise and Support

    The Life Works Children’s Foundation is being backed by several organisation with decades of combined experience in tackling addiction and supporting vulnerable children. These include:

    Life Works - a leading provider of high quality private treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, eating disorders, depression and other behavioural health disorders. Life Works is providing £25k in funding for the venture as well as management time, clinical, administrative and marketing support.

    Kids Company – the leading national charity working with vulnerable children in London. Kids Co is supporting the initiative with guaranteed referrals and public endorsement.

    Betty Ford Center – world renowned addiction treatment centre and has one of the most successful and longest running children’s programme in the world. Betty Ford are providing expertise through programme design, training, clinical recruitment, admissions and screening procedure,

  • Funding and Benefits

    Funding will provide the following outcomes:

    40-60 children to access the Life Works Children Programme during the development phase

    Improved outcomes, new coping skills and understanding about addiction to the children that attend the programme

    Support and information to each child’s accompanying care-giver to help them better support the child following attendance at the programme

    Training for eight UK based clinicians to deliver the programme on an ongoing basis

    Foundations for a new charitable enterprise that will be dedicated to supporting the hundreds of thousands of children that suffer in silence, affected by an addiction which harms them through no fault of their own


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