We were thrilled to welcome Maree Todd, the Scottish Minister for Children and Young People, to our Sustain service in the Borders recently.
The Minister was invited to visit the service, along with the Independent Care Review, to see Aberlour’s ‘edge of care’ work, working with families whose children are at risk of being taken into care.
The Independent Care Review was established in 2017 after a commitment by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to undertake ‘a root and branch review’ of the care system in Scotland and create a system that puts love for children and young people at its heart. Aberlour has continued to support children, young people and parents we work with who are looked after or have experience of being in care, to contribute to the Review by sharing their experiences and highlighting what they think could improve the care system.
The Aberlour Sustain – Borders service helps families in the local area who are considered on the ‘edge of care’ to stay together, by giving them the help and support they need as early as possible to prevent a child from being taken into care. The service also continues to work with families even when their children have been taken into care, aiming to ensure children can move back home once risks and concerns about their welfare have been addressed.
Maree Todd was able to meet and chat to our team, parents and young people we support to keep their families together.
Alison*, parent supported by Aberlour Sustain – Borders, said: “It was great to meet Maree Todd and explain how life saving the Aberlour service is. Without Joanne and the team my daughter would likely have been taken into care. But all we needed was support to help us manage problems we were having.”
Megan*, young person supported by Aberlour Sustain – Borders, said: “I was able to tell Maree Todd about my difficulties attending school and how Aberlour had made a real difference. Now things at school and home are much better. I am glad she came to hear about the service.”
Joanne Lile, Service Manager at Aberlour Sustain – Borders, said: “The team and I were delighted to welcome Maree Todd to our service to tell her directly all about our work. Local families are referred to us by The Scottish Borders Council for a number of reasons including domestic violence, poor mental health and disability and autism. We understand the challenges families face and provide personalised support to stop their children being taken into care. From the success of our service at Aberlour we know that working with families early is vital to support families and prevent problems becoming crises.”
Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People, said: “It was lovely to meet everyone at Aberlour Sustain – Borders and to hear first-hand the difference this service makes to children and their families in the Borders.”
*Names changed to protect anonymity.