Drug and alcohol services - improving holistic family support

This paper seeks to provide a framework, in line with the national drug/alcohol strategy Rights, Respect and Recovery (RRR) and linked policy

initiatives for the development of a consistent approach for families affected by substance use.

9. The need for partnership and collaboration at local level to increase access to WFA/FIP

"Children and families who seek support for a range of needs often find they have to navigate a very complex system, may fall through gaps where there are no services to meet their needs or be on a waiting list for a long time, only to be told that they are waiting in the wrong queue, or have been knocking at the wrong door all along."

(Social Care Institute for Excellence)

This section highlights:

  • Essential partnership collaboration at a local level.
  • The Partnership Delivery Framework to effectively implement this Framework.
  • Essential relationships required between the statutory/third sector/voluntary partners.
  • Range of national priorities that local implementation of this Framework will contribute to.
  • Range of current and emerging policy and evidence in Scotland this Framework supports.

9.1 This Framework is primarily for organisations and partnerships which have a role in planning, developing and delivering services for children, young people and families (including adult family members). These services work together through ADPs and Children's Service Planning Partnerships to provide continuity of support for families (children, young people and adults) affected by harms from alcohol and drugs. These are likely to include:

  • Children's Services Planning Partnerships (including Corporate Parenting Boards and Child Protection Committees)
  • Community Planning Partnerships
  • Community Safety Partnerships
  • Community Justice Partnerships
  • Violence Against Women Partnerships
  • Adult Public Protection Committees
  • Local Authorities (Education, Housing, CLD and Social Work)
  • NHS Boards
  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Fire & Rescue Service
  • Scottish Court Service and Scottish Prison Service
  • Integrated Joint Boards/ Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs)
  • Third Sector Services and local Third Sector Interfaces
  • Children's Hearings Improvement partners

9.2 Families are unique and their experiences will be an asset and strength to local areas in developing/delivering appropriate whole family support. Families are a key element of developing the right services to meet the right needs in a way that will maximise impact and outcome. Their involvement from the outset is central and needs to be secured and continually strengthened.

9.3 The Partnership Delivery Framework[38] published in July 2019 was approved by COSLA leaders and Scottish Ministers. It sets out the partnership arrangements needed to reduce the use of and harm from alcohol and drugs. This framework aims to ensure that all bodies involved are clear about the accountability arrangements and their responsibilities when working together in the identification, pursuit and achievement of agreed, shared outcomes. In July 2021 Ministers and COSLA agreed recommendations to support implementation of this Framework.

9.4 The range of local Community Planning Partners and their workforce will be required to work together with individuals and families, respecting, valuing and harnessing their lived experience to design and deliver the right high-quality local services that make a real difference to the lives of people who are affected by alcohol and drug related harms.

"my mum is better off £205 a week because of the partnership working, so I think that's really important. Its changed my life quite a lot and gave me freedom to do a lot more."

Clued Up Project, supported by Making it work for Families.

9.5 Children's Services Planning partnerships working alongside ADP's are instrumental in local delivery of the aspirations set out in RRR, ensuring that collaborative approaches to local planning, development and delivery of services across statutory and Third Sector partners is contributing to improved outcomes for children, young people and families through each area's Children's Services Plan.

9.6 Through development of holistic whole family approach/family inclusive practice framework's combined with partnership planning and delivery at a local level this should positively contribute to achieving a range of national priorities which includes:

  • The wellbeing and attainment of Scotland's children
  • The prevention of neglect and harm to children
  • Promotion and support of safe, stable and loving families
  • Tackling gender-based violence and domestic abuse
  • Promotion of individual recovery from problematic alcohol and drug use
  • A reduction in alcohol and drug related deaths
  • Promotion of adult and child mental wellbeing
  • A trauma-informed workforce and services across Scotland
  • Keeping the Promise
  • Tackling Child Poverty

9.7 Our work on WFA/FIP is consistent with the principles of a range of current and emerging policy and evidence in Scotland including:

  • Rights, Respect and Recovery Strategy (RRR)
  • Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC)
  • The Promise
  • Child Protection Improvement Programme (CPIP)
  • Equally Safe and Safe and Together
  • The National Performance Framework The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
  • Getting Our Priorities Right (GOPR)
  • National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2021)
  • Preventing and mitigating Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • National Trauma Training Programme
  • Findings from joint inspection of Children's Services (Care Inspectorate)
  • The Best Start: five year plan for Maternity and Neonatal Services[39]

9.8 Whole Family Approaches cannot sustainably be developed without strong partnerships, effective leadership, common vision and highly collaborative and co-operative approaches across public agencies and funders. There is considerable evidence, past and present to support the case for expansion at local level of services of this type – specifically for families affected by substance use, encountering mental health concerns and who have experienced domestic abuse.

9.9 Alcohol and Drug Partnerships are well placed to work together across adult and children's services planning and commissioning arrangements at the local level in order to support a joined- up approach to this work, to review existing expenditure on existing services, consider opportunities for reviewing current provision, working collaboratively and transparently with current providers, co-producing service redesign with families with lived experience, and evidencing impact. Crucially this will also involve joining up and co-ordinating funding streams and approaches to service development that can achieve this expansion in access, reach, breadth, quality and sustainability of whole family approaches in their areas.



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