Wandsworth: A Young Mother in Need of Help

Alison lived with her partner and young child in a flat which needed constant repairs. Although not short of family support around her, she suffered from depression and negative feelings after growing up with both her parents as substance misusers. Eventually she was taken into the care of her grandfather.


Alison’s depression and anxiety spiralled after her baby was born prematurely with a hearing impairment. Amongst other complex health issues, her child had to undergo life saving heart surgery. Unable to cope, Alison was found running into oncoming traffic under the influence of alcohol. She was then referred to Breaking the Cycle (BTC) by Children’s Specialist Services as part of a multi-agency support of care.


Alison’s BtC recovery plan included harm minimisation work, support around prevention of intergenerational substance misuse and attending ‘Team Around the Child’ (TAC)  meetings and supporting client in them.

BtC helped Alison to work on safer drinking strategies and find ways to be free from alcohol, especially at times of stress. The meetings with her support worker were fortnightly, as there were other professionals involved with the family at that time and staff worked together to ensure Alison was able to manage appointments.


Alison now rarely drinks and when she does it is within safe limits. She talks about her family’s substance misuse and how it affected her own life. She acknowledges the positive ways she parents and how she now communicates more positively with her partner. She is also engaging with different support agencies and says she benefits from their continued help.