The municipal report by Junis titled “With Power Comes Responsibility” found that children’s opportunities to meet safe adults have decreased, or even disappeared completely during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Junis is a Swedish child rights organization, with more than 10.000 members, and activities for children all across the country and all around the year. Junis is a member organization of Movendi International.
320,000 children are estimated to live in a household with alcohol problems. That is 15% of all children in Sweden. The situation for families affected by alcohol problems has become even worse during the pandemic. For example, it has taken support workers longer to conduct home visits during COVID-19, leading to escalation of problems.
Out of the municipalities who responded to Junis’ survey, 96% claim they offered support to children who grow up in a household with substance use problems. However, only about 1% or 3,469 children have actually participated in these support activities.
It’s catastrophically bad! It is obvious that the system fails when so few children get the help they need,” says Mona Örjes, President of Junis, as per Accent [Translated from Swedish].Mona Örjes, President, Junis
Heart-driven members of Junis are calling for committed politicians to take action so that no child is forgotten. In general and even more so due to the pandemic a lot more resources and bigger efforts are urgently needed to ensure all children are happy and safe.
Many of the affected children are really suffering right now. And they risk developing severe problems that they carry with them their entire lives,” explains Mrs. Örjes.
But if we find and support children from environments disrupted by alcohol early, they will be ok, develop resilience and they will thrive.”Mona Örjes, President, Junis
The municipality report consists of information about all municipalities regarding their support to vulnerable children, research and good examples of best practices, as well as concrete tips on books, films and resource sites, with facts, support and inspiration.
In the report, municipalities recognize six key measures which can be implemented to support children and youth from households with alcohol use problems:
- Increased collaboration between municipal bodies,
- Increased dissemination of information,
- Political priorities,
- Financial resources,
- More trained support group leaders, and
- Offer leisure time activities for children.