JUNIS releases new report shedding light on vulnerable children
JUNIS, the child rights organization of the Swedish IOGT-NTO movement, has released a new report about children growing up with parental alcohol problems and how to better find and help them.
The annual report focuses on how to better empower teachers to identify when children might be growing up with parental alcohol problems.
A key finding:
- 7 of 10 students to become teacher do not receive any education about children of parents with alcohol problems.
The new study, conducted by C.A.N. and commissioned by JUNIS, shows that only very few students receive training to understand the situation of children growing up with parental alcohol problems.
In Sweden, every fifth child is growing up with at least one parents having alcohol problems. It’s crucial to identify these children as early as possible in order to help and protect them from further harm. But this is not reflected in teacher education, as the new JUNIS report shows.
The report is entitled: “To discover children in families with addiction problems”.
Mona Örjes, President of JUNIS, says:
We’ve long known that teacher education touches these question only to a very small degree, and with this new study we have prove.
The new report allows to do more advocacy for eventually introducing these questions into teacher education. This would be very important.”
According to JUNIS, the norm should be that all aspiring teachers should receive training, knowledge and capacity to understand how substance use issues, like alcohol addiction, affects children and to be able to indemnify and effectively help these children.
The study has been conducted using survey questions that were distributed to students at 13 of 20 universities and colleges that are providing the program for teaching of 4th to 6th grade.
Seven of ten aspiring teachers expressed that they were missing this type of training and that they do not feel prepared to tackle the issue if and when it should occur. They lack knowledge about how to identify pupils growing up in families with alcohol problems and they do not know how to proceed and get help.
One student answered:
It’s unacceptable that we aspiring teachers have not received any information or knowledge about children who are exposed to harm in their homes and how to help them in school.”
JUNIS argues that it is a very serious problem that children growing up with parental alcohol problems are not identified in schools. It brings with it many adverse consequences. For instance, the risk to complete grade 9 without the necessary marks is two to three times greater for kids from broken families.
Schools are compelled by law to minimize differences in students’ pre-conditions.
Mona Örjes says:
This is relevant to at least four ministers in the government, all three ministers that have some responsibility for education as well as minister of public health Gabriel Wikström, who is pursuing the question of equal health.
We will try and speak with all four. In addition, we plan to raise awareness about this issue in the world of schools, for example via unions and their newspapers.”