Children are vulnerable when their parents drink. KIDS Support Groups are a place where children, affected by their parents' substance abuse are welcomed and get otientiation as a strategy of prevention and assistance to people in circumstances of social vulnerability. Through targeted training of KIDS Group leaders, the Blue Cross Brazil is expanding its successful program of Self Help to reach beyond the people with addiction problems and provide much needed care for family members.
Alcohol abuse is a significant public health issue in Southern Brazil. Children who come from families where one or both parents drink are often judged and socially excluded. In many cases, children who have grown up in a household where alcohol use is a problem are ten times more likely to fall into the same pattern. Therefore, children and young people are particularly at risk and especially vulnerable.
This project gives children who are affected by their parents' substance abuse a place to turn and a forum in which they can discuss their parents' addiction and how it impacts their life. The groups are used as a prevention strategy to protect children and youth. The groups also help children to realize that nothing is wrong with them and that their parents' addiction is not their fault!
Support groups like these give children confidence and a healthy network of people to rely on and trust. They provide positive guidance during a critical time in one's life when behavior and decision making are easily influenced. In the long-run, KIDS support groups create physically and mentally healthy adolescents and adults that can function in society, eventually becoming positive agents for change.