I was bathing Lacey one night and she said, “Nanny, could Mummy die if she carries on taking drugs and drinking?” And I said, “Yes, she could, but we’re going to work very hard to get her better.” You have to reassure them, but not lie to them. Anyway, she must have been mulling it over because a few weeks later she asked me about it again. “You know if Mummy dies,” she said, “and you’re getting older and you die, who will take us?”‘ Jan Patterson, 61, pauses for a moment and shakes her head. ‘A lot of these children are really worried and anxious you know… Traumatised, actually.’
The programme is currently available to watch online.
Mentor UK are now managing a three year project working across 7 European countries to support kinship carers and those they care for because of parental drug or alcohol problems, and to produce training materials to professionals.
Adfam has a project in London looking at existing services and developing new ways of supporting grandparents who are bringing up their grandchildren because their birth parents are drug users.
Grandparents Plus have a network for grandparents raising grandchildren.