Meeting for carers looking after children due to their parent’s drug or alcohol use

By Mary Dennehy

GRANDPARENTS, family members or friends who are caring for children or young people due to their parent’s misuse of drugs or alcohol are invited to attend a free, informal morning of conversation and support on June 13.

In recent years, an increase has been noted in the number of children and teenagers being cared for by grandparents and others due to the tragic loss of one or both parents through addiction, or the absence of their parents due to chaotic drug or alcohol use.

Stadium Alcohol 08

Grace Hill, co-ordinator of TDATF

While the issue of grandparents caring for grandchildren is not a new phenomenon, the frequency of cases across Tallaght is on the rise – with local services now looking for ways to support carers.

On June 13, the Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force and the National Family Support Network is hosting a free event for grandparents, aunties, uncles or others who are caring for children.

The event is open to any carer who would like to learn about supports available, source information and chat with others in a similar situation over tea and scones.

Those in attendance will also be invited to raise suggestions on what supports are needed going forward.

Seen an increase

Grace Hill, TDATF co-ordinator told The Echo: “The issues around grandparents caring for grandchildren has been on the agenda for a number of years.

“However, we have seen an increase in this locally due to drug-related deaths and suicide.

“It’s a fairly big issue.”

She added: “I’m in awe of these carers but there is a lot of pressure on them, including financial, and we believe that they need practical support.

“They need respite, they need to be given a chance to talk, vent and learn how to look after themselves.

“Anybody caring for a child is welcome to come along, even for some respite, a chat and to let us know what they need going forward.

“For the most part, thoughts are with the child when it comes to parental drug or alcohol misuse but we need to also look at the carer.

“We hope that this event could create a more regular support group for carers… and help to build a team of support and services around them within their own communities.”

The free morning is being held in the Russell Primary Health Care Centre in Tallaght Cross West on Wednesday, June 13 between 10.30am and 1pm.

For further information or to book a place, contact Conor Byrne or Ger Doherty at 8980148 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Grace Hill at 4649303 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by June 6.

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