Protecting Children and Young People from Alcohol-Related Harm: At Home, in the Community and through the Justice System


Every child in Scotland has the right to grow up without being affected by alcohol harms – but how can this ambition be achieved?

The context

Scotland’s refreshed Alcohol Strategy and Child and Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Strategy are expected to be published soon. These documents will help to build a framework for how Scotland can continue its strategic approach to helping children and young people affected by alcohol misuse. 

Recent research shows that although the number of young people who have tried alcohol is falling, it remains disproportionately high amongst those who experience inequalities. Drinking in the home also continues to be a concern, with up to 51,000 children estimated to live with a problematic drinker and report that it makes them feel scared, confused, stressed or angry when their parents are drinking.

The event

Holyrood is delighted to be working with Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) on this event. We will discuss recent research on alcohol misuse and young people and share practice from across Scotland that is helping children and young people grow up without being harmed by alcohol.

Key issues to be addressed

  • How taking a population approach and changing health behaviours can help tackle problem drinking
  • Building resilience in young people
  • What can we do to help children and young people affected by other people's drinking in the home?
  • Best practice in directing young people to support when they have committed a crime under the influence of alcohol


Dr Eric Carlin, Director, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP)

Session 1: Taking a Population-Based Approach

Alcohol misuse is a symptom as well as a cause of inequality and cannot be tackled in isolation. In this opening session we will look at taking a population based approach to tackling alcohol misuse as well as hearing from young people themselves how they can be empowered to help change Scotland’s relationship with alcohol.

  • Where are we now? Young people and alcohol in Scotland
  • Reducing exposure of young people to alcohol 
  • Supporting healthy behaviours in young people
  • Young People’s changing relationship with alcohol
    • A facilitated discussion with a group of young people about what they think about their own or other young people’s drinking

Dr Nathan Critchlow, Research Assistant, Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling

Session 2: Working Towards the Aspiration of an Alcohol-Free Childhood in our Homes

Every child has the right to a childhood free of alcohol. This includes living free from the emotional and physical impact of other people’s drinking. This session will explore how we can tackle home drinking and support those affected by parental alcohol misuse.

  • Latest research on the impact of home drinking
  • Drinking in the home - wider family impact and responses
  • Learning resources for supporting families affected by problematic drinking

Justina Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs

Jane Wilson, Learning & Business Development Lead, Alcohol Focus Scotland

Session 3: Youth Drinking and Community Justice
By directing young people to appropriate support where they have committed a crime under the influence of alcohol we can help young people to make positive choices in their future. This final session will consider the opportunities available through our justice system to address youth drinking.

  • A family inclusive approach to tackling youth drinking through community justice
  • Community Justice Disposals – an opportunity for intervention
  • Interactive session: recommendations for policymakers

Heather McVeigh, Scotland Director, Mentor Scotland

*Agenda subject to change


Central Edinburgh, venue to be confirmed 


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635

30 January 2018



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