Children of Alcoholics Week: An Interview with Creche Worker, Ceri
What is the service you work in?
I work at Oasis Project and for a project called Back on Track – which is in partnership with RUOK, the Young Carers service and Oasis Project, supporting families which are affected by parental alcohol misuse.
What is your role within that service?
At Oasis Project I am a Crèche Worker. I hope to give the children a time of enjoyment in the creche, whilst their parents are accessing services across the City to support their recovery. It is important for them to really feel like they can just be a child; relax, enjoy themselves and have fun. We want to ensure them that they do not have to worry about home life or anything else that is going on but instead, be imaginative and creative to express themselves.
Who is the Creche for?
The creche is for the children of any parents or carer who is accessing treatment and support services to address their substance misuse.
What are some of the thoughts/feelings or issues, that a child of an alcoholics may be facing?
Some children of alcoholics may be feeling quite alone and different to others. They may be finding it difficult to find an adult that they can trust and talk to. They may be trying to hide some of their feelings and appear that everything is fine on the outside, when really home life can be quite difficult; a child of an alcoholic may feel quite protective of their parent.
If their parent is seeking help, they may find that coming to services like the creche and therapy at Oasis Project is a very safe place where they can really express themselves and be themselves, whilst not having to worry at all.
How does The Creche benefit children of alcoholics and why is it important?
Children can just come and just be children. There is support here for the whole family and some Creche staff have lived experience of being a child of an alcoholic, which makes them relatable. There are lots of different services and programmes that children of alcoholics and their families can access together.
Can you tell us one thing we should all be aware of about child of an alcoholics?
Children of alcoholics are very often people pleasers. They might be saying that everything is fine and coming across like there isn’t a problem, but we need to be aware that the reason they are people pleasers is because they are trying to please their parents a lot.
They will often be very aware of the moods in the room, reading and analysing everyone. It is very important that these children have an environment where they can feel safe to speak out and where no matter what they say, they will be safe.
We reassure them that when they speak out, it is to help the whole family and that talking is the first step towards their family getting the support they need. We want to ensure that these young people don’t feel scared that they are going to be in trouble and removed from their family but only that it is a good thing when they speak out.