In Germany there are living 2.6 million children in families with one or both addicted parents. Addiction is often still socially termed as a weakness of character, human failure or even shame. In the familiy shame and fear are leading to the subject addiction as a taboo. The children are feeling that they are not allowed to talk about the addiction problem and its consequences. They are learning in this situation very early to keep up appearance and to keep silent.
Consistently several scientific studies came to the conclusion that one trustfull relationship to at least one solid grown up person is a decisive protection factor for these children. These social contacts give children suggestions and an assistance to handle acute stress situations and offer alternative behavioral models.
Exactly at this point the project was set up: it is arranging voluntary mentors who spend one afternoon per week with one child. In this time the wishes, worries and needs of the child are the focus of the work. And the central goal is to have a nice, happy-go-lucky time with the child.
The mentors are supported by the project with monthly group meetings and personal reflection conversations. The tandems are supposed to work together for a long term period, at least for 10 months.