CHHAT supports young people aged 8-19 impacted by parental substance misuse

young girl looking over shoulder of father in living room

What is CHHAT?

The Community Hidden Harm Awareness Team (CHHAT) works with young carers across Essex aged 8-19 years who are affected by parental substance use (also known as hidden harm).

'My worker helped me come out and not bottle up my problems'

Prior to working with CHHAT, many of these young carers are hidden within society, not accessing the support they need and deserve. Our work involves supporting these young carers to notice and express their feelings surrounding their individual experiences, building resilience and improving emotional well-being and safety.

Who can access this service?

Our referral criteria is as follows:

  • CHHAT is a county wide project across Essex (excluding Southend and Thurrock)
  • CHHAT can work with early intervention cases through to high intervention cases
  • CHHAT works directly with young people aged 8-19 effected by parental substance misuse.  This includes parental alcohol, illegal drug and legal drug misuse. We will work with up young people aged up to 25 if there are identified SEN need
  • Many of the young people working with CHHAT are young carers living with the parent who is misusing substances. However, we also work with young people where there is historic parental substance misuse, or where the young person is no longer living with the parent misusing substances
  • The young person themselves must be aware of referral and consent to support around hidden harm

What support does the service provide?

The type of support we offer is determined following our assessment but includes:

  • One to one support
  • Group support
  • Activity days
  • Liaising with professionals

'I could talk to her about things I probably wouldn't talk to anyone else about'

How do I access the service?

To make a referral, you can phone 01245 493311 or download a referral form and send it to

You will get an automated response to acknowledge that we have received your referral within 24 hours.

Following this once a practitioner is available they will make contact to arrange an initial assessment.  If there  is going to be a delay in picking up a referral you will get an additional email informing you of this.

Young people's projects

'They listened to me, I didn't feel judged for once'

Contact information

CHHAT Project
The Children’s Society East
114 Springfield Road,



Phone: 01245 493 311