Adamson & Templeton (2012)
Silent Voices: supporting children and young people affected by parental alcohol misuse is a report commissioned by The Children's Commissioner for England to purport to change government policy on drinking by parents.
Unfortunately, the whole report seems based on nothing but guesswork as evidenced by this paragraph from the summary at the start of the report:
Written by Margaret 'Maggie' Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner for England, it first makes the sweeping claim that alcohol is worse than drugs:
Next, we see who's opinion we are supposed to be witnessing:
Clearly, these children won't be prompted in what to say, how to say it, and won't be encouraged to over-exaggerate.
Finally, we are to take her upon her word that there is a problem and that something must be done.
Community Research Company and Lorna Templeton
We next have an introductory section from the people who performed the research. The first is presented as the company CRC UK. Unfortunately at the time of the report's release
- There was no web-presence for the company concerned - their website was simply the default apache index page for a site with no content whatsoever. The only sources at the time of writing being second-hand references such as this report, and of the sparse page about the company on LinkedIn.
- One of the two employees/founders/directors of CRC UK had left 2 months prior in Jul 2012, and it is the leaver who is cited as one of the authors of this report.
The second is Lorna Templeton who is presenting herself as a self employed independent researcher at the University of Bath, the latter which recently won an £450,000 'award' to produce further studies lambasting not only those who abuse alcohol, but who also enjoy it in moderation.. The funding came from the Economic and Social Research Council which "is funded primarily through grant-in-aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)." In other words, the tax payer.
About the Office of the Children’s Commissioner
This section is merely an advert for the OCC, and appears to overstep their remit by claiming they can influence policy that affects everyone:
Policy and practice, in this instance being alcohol policy that will apply to the whole of the adult population regardless of whether they have children or not.
A particularly egregious example of this obnoxious idea is when some UK schools thought it was a bright idea to include pupils in the interview process or appraisals for teachers at their schools:
This is just a list of people to be back-patted for doing their (usually tax-payer-funded) 'jobs' such as fellow colleagues of Margaret Aktinson at the OCC, Action On Addiction that, for some reason, appears to think that grants can be accounted under the heading of 'Voluntary income' and Adfam("Information and support for the families of drug and alcohol users.") that is funded from, amongst others, the Department for Education, the Department of Health, the Ministry of Justice and The City Bridge Trust.
Special mention goes to What about Me?(Nottingham NHS) and NACOA who's last annual report was dated 2010(in late 2012) and the version they proffer on their website is surprisingly lacking in detail as to where exactly their funds come from (even more so than the one from the Charities Commission website)
Summary of Key Messages and Recommendations
The first sleight of hand comes along with the first footnote to this first sentence in this section:
which leads to this enlightening footnote:
So, whenever they mention 'children' they are also, potentially, including people up to the age of 21 - not the usual mental image you get when reports such as this mention the children when mentioned in the media:
The legal minimum age for purchasing alcohol in the majority of the United States, for example, is 21
Section One: Background
Section Two: Methodology
Section Three: Consultation with children and young people
Section Four: Review Findings
Research Question One
Research Question Two
Research Question Three
Research Question Four
Research Question Five
Research Question Six
References included in the review
Appendix A: Final search strategy
Appendix B: Research Tables
Appendix C: Focus group plan (WAM)
- WebCite archive of http://www.community-research.co.uk/ - Taken 2012-09-18 15:45:20
- Jon Adamson
- Bath University awarded £450,000 for (alcohol related) bereavement research - This Is Bath
- Annual Report 2010-2011 (PDF, 13.9Mb) - ESRC; pdf page 81, point 2
- Pupils 'interviewing teachers for jobs' - BBC News
- Teachers 'humiliated' by pupil interviews - The Telegraph
- Action on Addictions accounts, year ending 31 Mar 2011 - The Charities Commission, pdf page 43, section 2
- NACOA accounts year ended 31 December 2010 - The Charities Commission
- NACOA 2010 Annual Report - About NACOA
- Adolescence - Wikipedia
- List of alcohol laws of the United States by state - Wikipedia