"reducing alcohol and drug related harm in our communities"


The Steps to Cope Project – The Legacy

The Steps to Cope Project has been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund (formerly Big Lottery Fund) Impact of Alcohol Fund from 2014-19. The project is a partnership between ASCERT, Barnardo's NI, The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and AFInetUK.

Steps to Cope is an intervention for young people aged 11 to 18 affected by parental alcohol/drug misuse (hidden harm) or parental mental health problems.

Despite the recognition that interventions for young people are needed, a gap exists in the worldwide literature of evaluated child-focused interventions, especially for older adolescents affected by parental substance misuse.

From the initial pilot in 2011/12 where the intervention was adapted from a NICE-recommended adult model, its delivery has shown some promising impacts.

With data from over 100 young people completing the Resilience Scale for Adolescents (READ), before and after the intervention, findings indicate that nearly three quarters of these young people (74%) have experienced a statistically significant increase in resilience. An article on the impact of Steps to Cope has recently been published in the journal Advances in Mental Health.

Click Here to access the article. 

The project ends in October but, as a legacy we will shortly be launching practical resources for further use across Northern Ireland, including:

  • A resource for schools to deal with hidden harm: Understanding and Responding to Hidden Harm: A Guide for Educational Professionals.
  • A mobile optimized online self-help version of the intervention for young people.
  • Processes to support organisations to embed Steps to Cope in their work through training and development.

Watch out for more information on ASCERT’s social media channels over the coming months.

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Co. Antrim
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Tel: 0800 2545 123
Fax: 028 9260 3874
Email: info@ascert.biz
Charity Number: NIC101239