Katie’s Story

Aberlour Sustain services aim to keep families together where possible and appropriate, preventing children being placed unnecessarily into care. We listen to families and respond to what they need, when they need it. Families have told us they feel Aberlour is on their side, not on their back.

Early help vital in keeping families together

Crises in families often don’t happen between nine and five, nor can they wait until Monday morning. With Aberlour Sustain, we can support the whole family when and where they need it most, seven days a week. Support can often include help with setting routines in the morning, helping families get children up, dressed and into school; and in the evenings where again, routines, homework and behaviour start to put a strain on families.

Aberlour Sustain

We piloted our first Sustain service in Invergordon, Highlands in 2016 and worked with 14 families whose children were at risk of being taken into care. We succeeded in keeping 11 of those families together – a 79% success rate.

One such family is Katie’s. She lives with her 10 year-old son Fergus and 6 year-old daughter Chelsea.

“My son Fergus has autism and ADHD and so his behaviour can be challenging” she describes. “I suffer from fibromyalgia and depression. Before Aberlour Sustain started to help me, I struggled daily with the children and could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

“Sustain started helping my family in December and has changed my life for the better. The support we receive as a family is unbelievable. I have never felt so happy with someone coming into the home to help my family. Both my children enjoy seeing their worker Sharon and so do I.”

Our success in Invergordon has meant that we have now launched two more Sustain services in The Borders and in Perth and Kinross. And it’s only through support from funders and donors that we can make this difference for families. Support at the earliest stage, before damage is done and families are torn apart, is at the heart of what Aberlour does; we’re delighted that our innovative new Sustain services are having such a positive effect for so many children.


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