Children of parents with a psychiatric problem (Kinderen van Ouders met een Psychisch Probleem – KOPP) and children of parents with an addiction (Kinderen van Ouders met een Verslaving – KVO) run an increased risk of developing psychiatric problems or addictions themselves. Many families on the BES islands face addiction or psychiatric problems. We therefore started the KVO/KOPP ‘do and talk’ group in partnership with the Youth and Family Centre and Youth Care and Family Supervision Dutch Caribbean (Centrum van Jeugd en gezin en Jeugdzorg Caribisch Nederland). We have adapted the original KVO/KOPP programme to the cultures and world view of the children of Bonaire.

In the meetings, the children receive accessible information about alcohol and drugs and they learn to talk about their emotions and their home situation, and about why their parents are as they are.

The objective is to encourage the children, who are initially quite closed, to talk. After the training, the children can talk about the consequences of using alcohol and drugs and they realise they are no different to other children growing up in ‘normal’ families.