Early intervention service led by Aberlour Children’s Charity proves a success


Aberlour Sustain, based in Ross-shire, announces success of its early intervention plan, which works with children and young people on the ‘edge of care’. Since April 2017 the service, supported by funding from the STV appeal, has worked intensively with 14 families and prevented 11 young people from either being taken into residential care or placed in foster care, keeping them with their families – a 79% success rate.

Today, the Minister for Early Learning and Childcare, Maree Todd visited the service to meet with Aberlour staff and families it supports. Speaking of the work done by the charity, Ms Todd commented:

“We are committed to making our care system the best it can possibly be and early intervention is key to achieving this. Early engagement with families whose children are on the edge of care is vital to ensure they receive the support they need, when they need it most.

“It has been a humbling experience to meet the Aberlour staff at Sustain and the people who use its services where I was able to see first-hand how crucial their work is in supporting families in the area who are very much in need.”

Jim Wallace, director of services at Aberlour, said: “The team was very pleased to welcome Ms Todd along to Sustain today, and show her what we’re doing to support Scotland’s children and future generations. We know that early intervention works. It works for our families and communities, and it has positive financial implications through reducing the Council’s expenditure had these children required to be place in care.

“The Sustain project is all about providing a service tailored to the needs of each family and their unique set of circumstances. This approach, combined with the skill, expertise and dedication of our staff has been the key to the success we have seen here.”

There are many reasons why children and young people are identified as ‘at risk’ of needing to enter the care system. It could be due to the impact of adverse childhood experiences on both children and their parents, parental capacity being compromised and the subsequent children’s behaviour issues this creates.

Key to Sustain’s success is its commitment to relationship-based support that enables the team to engage with vulnerable and hard-to-reach families. Sustain works intensively with families, offering personalised asset-based support. For example: provision of support over evenings and weekends when other traditional supports are not available; and by offering more face-to-face contact, often several times a week to develop strong relationships and trust with the children, young people, parents, carers and the wider family.

Sustain is one of 40 services provided by Aberlour Children’s Charity across Scotland. Working collaboratively with the Highland Council, the project works to provide vital help for families before they hit crisis point, and is an example of how Aberlour’s early intervention helps children remain in their families, schools and communities.


For more information, please contact BIG Partnership on aberlourcc@bigparnterhship.co.uk or 0131 557 5252.

Not all children are born with an equal chance. Aberlour is there for Scotland’s hidden children, when others let them down. Because every child deserves a chance to flourish.

We help by:

  • Offering a safe place to live for children who have suffered abuse and trauma
  • Making life easier for families where a child has a disability
  • Giving babies a brighter future by building confidence in their parents
  • Helping families recover from drug and alcohol addiction, so their children can thrive
  • Working with young people to prevent their problems from spiralling out of control

Our vision is to transform the lives of the children and families we work with and, through this, contribute to building a fairer and more equal society