Children Of Alcoholic Parents Call Hotline Just To Hear Bedtime Stories
Children, as young as five, call the counselors at the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) so regularly that their favorite story books are kept by the phones. Alcoholic parents are too drunk or wasted to put them to bed that they turn to the helpline for a good night's sleep.
According to Daily Mail there are 2.5 million children of alcoholics in the UK, MP's are branding it as a 'secret scandal'. NOCOA had received 32,000 calls and emails from children last year.
Chief executive, Hilary Henriques said on one occasion a counselor had to help a five-year-old girl call 999 emergency. Her drug and alcohol addicted mother had locked herself in the bathroom overnight. The woman was found dead when the paramedics arrived.
Another case was with a seven-year-old girl who called while hiding from her drunk parents under her bed on Christmas day. The little girl was cold, scared andhad receive no presents. She just wanted to hear a story abhout her imaginary friend, a dog called Bruce.
NACOA regular callers often request classic Disney tales. Henriques said Horrid Henry books and Roald Dahl are also popular with these children. She added "The children like to hear a made-up story because this helps to get across the message that things can be different from the life they live at the moment, which is really the cornerstone of what we do - keep hope alive."
Belfast Telegraph reported that members of the Parliament have called on the government to take action. NACOA has marked Children of Alcoholics week after the MP's launched their manifesto. The all-parliamentary group is supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Their research uncovered a shocking picture of support for children of alcoholics said the Archbishop. It has revealed an apparent absence of strategies to deal with the issue and a sever lack of funding in many areas.