Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs was set up in 2003 as the Scottish Network for Families Affected by Drugs. We extended our remit to include alcohol in 2013 and became Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs.
We were set up by families themselves, who came together to support each other and to create a united voice to raise awareness of the challenges they faced as family members. We are proud of this grassroots history as a supporting and campaigning organisation, created by families for families.
Scottish Families supports anyone who is concerned about someone else’s alcohol or drug use. We use a broad definition of ‘family’, including family members, carers, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, or any other ‘Concerned Significant Others’ (CSOs).
We see the Whole Family as an asset, even where the family unit is fragile or damaged, and we look to identify and support all of the potential strengths around individuals, whether or not they are in treatment or recovery. Supported, recognised, included and connected families will create stronger communities – a good investment for everyone.
We receive core funding from the Scottish Government as one of their National Commissioned Organisations (NCOs) – this currently accounts for around 20% of our income. We are also supported by a range of other government funds, commissioned work, grant funding and fundraising. We are grateful to all of our funders for supporting our work.
Services We Offer
We currently provide a range of services across Scotland from our base in Glasgow:
Our free, confidential Helpline – 08080 10 10 11
The Helpline provides listening support and advice to anyone concerned about someone else’s alcohol or drug use, including families and practitioners. Our Helpline is supported by volunteers and is available from Monday to Friday between 9am and 11pm and Saturday and Sunday between 5pm and 11pm.
Our Telehealth service provides a series of free, one-to-one CRAFT sessions over the phone, video chat or instant messaging over 6-8 weeks. CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) is an evidence-based, non-judgemental programme for anyone affected by someone else’s substance use. It covers issues such as positive communication, looking after yourself, and encouraging your loved one to enter treatment. Telehealth is available across Scotland.
Bereavement Support Service
Our Bereavement Support Service offers listening support and advice to family members who have lost a loved one where drugs may have been a reason for their death along with the opportunity to be referred to a professional counsellor in their own local area. This service is free and offers up to six individual counselling sessions. Bereavement Support is available across Scotland.
Family Support Services
We are commissioned to deliver local Family Support Services by a number of Alcohol and Drug Partnerships. This includes the provision of one-to-one support, family support groups, and collaboration with other local services. We are currently providing services in East Dunbartonshire and Forth Valley. We also work closely with other family support services in other areas and are working with Alcohol and Drug Partnerships to ensure that the value and impact of dedicated family support is recognised in all local areas.
Workforce Training and Development Support
We deliver Workforce Training and Development Support to organisations across Scotland, including alcohol and drug services and the wider workforce. This support is tailored to meet each organisation’s needs, including short presentations or briefings, half-day interactive sessions, and bespoke training and development work. Courses for between 10-20 people are currently available on Families Need to Recover Too, Family Inclusive Practice and Group Facilitation Skills.
Working with Communities
We have developed a range of approaches to Working with Communities, including our Adult Learning and Empowering Communities (ALEC) toolkit (which uses an asset-based community development approach with both geographic communities and communities of interest); prevalence studies (including with specific groups such as young people) and scoping studies.
Policy and Campaigns
Although we do not currently have a dedicated Policy and Campaigns resource, the Scottish Families team plays an active role in shaping and influencing policy and practice. For example, we are members of a number of expert groups and partnerships, including parliamentary cross-party groups, local and national strategy and service development groups, and advocacy groups.
Our Communications portfolio includes our website (completely re-designed and re-launched in Autumn 2017), social media and media relations. This work helps increase awareness of families’ experiences, including supporting families to tell their own stories where appropriate.
Through Fundraising, we aim to create a sustainable resource base to support all of our work. Our Fundraising Manager is supported by two local fundraising committees in this work.
How we are Funded
Trusts and Foundations
Funding received from charitable trusts and foundations is key to the work of Scottish Families and we welcome all contributions for our projects, equipment or core costs.
We are truly grateful to have received support from many grant-making bodies including:
If you are considering making a grant or a gift to Scottish Families, we have full information on our finances, governance, and practice available. Please contact Fundraising Manager Sarah Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org or 0141 465 7523 for more information.
Meet Our Team
Click the images to learn more about each staff member.
East Dunbartonshire Family Support Development Officer
After graduating from Aberdeen University in 1996 with a MA in Combined Studies, Claire worked for 3 years in Essex in a residential school for children with emotional & behavioural difficulties. On returning to Scotland, Claire worked in Drumchapel for over 10 years as an advocate for vulnerable adults and then for children & young people. She completed her COSCA counselling skills training and has volunteered with Cruse Bereavement since 2009. Claire joined Scottish Families in September 2013.
Development Officer – Communities & Families
John joined Scottish Families in September 2014 as Alcohol Liaison Officer. John has spent over 12 years working in a Community Learning and Development (CLD) capacity with a range of communities across Scotland focussing on building social capital to influence change. John studied Community Education at University of Strathclyde – graduated in 2009 with honours and is a registered member of CLD Standards Council for Scotland. In his current role as Development Officer for Families & Communities he has engaged with individuals, families and communities to develop Scottish Families’ ALEC toolkit. This resource seeks to empower families and communities to unlock their own potential by maximising opportunities to reduce substance-related harms and create recovery-friendly communities across Scotland.
Justina joined Scottish Families as CEO in June 2017. This followed seven years as Chief Officer of South West Scotland Community Justice Authority (CJA), a formal partnership aiming to reduce reoffending across Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway. This included holding the national CJA portfolio for children and families affected by the justice system. Prior to this Justina was the Coordinator of North Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership, following on from roles in public policy, equal employment opportunities and research in Scotland and New Zealand. She lives in West Kilbride in North Ayrshire.
Rebecca joined the organisation in October 2016 as the Communications Officer. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2015 with an MA in English Linguistics and has since worked in the third sector in the field of digital communications.
She is hoping to boost Scottish Families’ communications and build a greater awareness about the organisation to families who need support.
Sarah joined the organisation in October 2016 as a Fundraising Manager. After graduating from Caledonian University with a BA honours degree in Journalism Sarah has worked in various fundraising roles in the third sector.
In her role as Fundraising Manager she is looking forward to developing relationships with supporters and building new links with businesses, individuals and funders across Scotland.
Head of Programmes
Scott is responsible for both the delivery and the quality assurance of Scottish Families’ services, along with developing and delivering both internal and external training and development. He joined the organisation in March 2011, bringing a wealth of experience gained through managing health and lifestyle information and advice services. Scott is an experienced trainer and associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and he highlights the importance of a knowledgeable workforce with the right skills and attitudes to provide families with the support they need.
Helpline Development Officer
Suzie joined Scottish Families in October 2014 as the Helpline Development Officer. She comes with many years experience of call centre management with the emergency services and more recently worked within Welfare to Work.
She is looking to make our Helpline as easy to access from a variety of platforms and increase the interactivity of our services. She has been involved in the voluntary sector for nearly 20 years covering a variety of roles and is looking to expand the current roles that our volunteers undertake.
Virtual Family Support Practitioner
After graduating from Glasgow City Collage in 2003, Maureen worked extensively in the Glasgow Area with Recovery Communities and helped establish one of the first Recovery Communities in Glasgow. Currently studying BA HONS Social Work degree at Strathclyde University, Maureen is in her 3rd year aiming to specialise in the Criminal Justice field. Maureen Joined Scottish Families for the second time in October 2016, working Part Time and initially as Family Support Development Officer for Falkirk and also as a Telehealth Interventionist. Since December 2017 Maureen has taken on a new role as a Virtual Family Support Practitioner also supporting the Scottish Families Helpline.
Senior Virtual Family Support Practitioner
Martha joined the organisation in December 2015 as a Family Support Development Officer covering the Forth Valley area. After working in this role for 2 years, Martha accepted a new position with the organisation as Senior Virtual Family Support practitioner, co-ordinating the National Telehealth and Bereavement services. Martha holds a BA honours degree in Community Education and completed her COSCA counselling skills course in February 2015. Martha has worked in a number of voluntary sector roles including Volunteer management, Drug and Alcohol prevention and education and housing support.
Connecting Families Development Officer
Susie joined Scottish Families in May 2014 initially as the Programmes Manager followed by a year secondment to Scottish Government. Susie gained an LLB with Honours from the University of Glasgow in 2007. She comes from an Administrative and Human Resources Management background and has recently returned to the organisation into the Connecting Families programme and is currently the Development Officer.
Forth Valley Family Support Development Officer
After graduating with a Nursing Degree from Stirling University in 1998, Lynne moved into employment within the third sector in 2001. Since then she has gained experience in a wide range of community based services where through the facilitation of groups and 1:1 sessions she has supported individuals to take back control of their lives and proactively look after their mental health and wellbeing. In 2011 she began working in a Community Rehab and became passionate about motivating people to find recovery. Lynne joined the SFAD team in November 2017 as the Family Support Development Officer for Forth Valley and is most looking forward to bringing the message of Recovery to family members. It is Lynne’s hope that the Recovery message will empower family members to take control of their own situations and move forward in positive ways.
Chair of the Board
Isabel rejoined the Board in April 2016 after a break of about 18 months. She spent her working life in the Scottish Office now Scottish Government. During her career Isabel worked in a range of different Departments including housing, town planning, the health service and human resources ending her career in the Effective Interventions Unit and the Drug Policy Unit. She was inspired to support Scottish Families when she met family members at a seminar at which the concept of Family Support was being aired some 12 years ago. Isabel has considerable experience of volunteering in the third sector and has served on several Boards. She is particularly keen to ensure that Board members take their responsibilities for good and effective governance seriously and that the Board recognises its role and responsibilities. Isabel lives in Edinburgh and when time permits she enjoys gardening and is known to bake the odd cake!
Kristofer joined the board in November 2011. Kristofer is a Legal Advisor/Solicitor for the Charity Commission for England and Wales. He joins the board with significant experience of fundraising and the voluntary sector having served as a Committee Member of the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland for four years. He says, ‘I joined the board as I recognise the importance of the organisation’s work and hope to see the organisation develop its capacity to support more people throughout Scotland.’
Heather joined the Board in the summer of 2016. She is a chartered accountant and qualified at professional services firm Ernst & Young. She has a passion for the charity sector and now works as senior management accountant at Comic Relief. Though based in London for work, being from the Scottish Borders and studying in Dundee, she considers Scotland to be her home, and the issues of its people are very close to her heart. This passion is what drew her to work with SFAD. She brings financial experience, from both the charity and commercial sectors. Outside of work you will usually find her running around some where. She recently completed the Edinburgh marathon and finds it very hard to sit still!
Lindsey McArthur joined the Board in June 2016. She is currently Head of Alumni Engagement at the University of Stirling having previously worked at the University of Glasgow fundraising for medically based Capital campaigns. She has more than 15 years’ experience of fundraising, marketing, communications and external relations. She said ‘I am delighted to join the Board of an organisation providing such valuable, necessary and often life changing support to people in real need.
Colin joined the board in June 2017. He retired in 2011 after a career in teaching, education management and, latterly, arts management. He first experienced the benefits of a family support group in Edinburgh in 2012 and later trained as a SMART facilitator before he and his wife established a group for Family and Friends in West Lothian in 2015. His personal experiences have convinced him of the need to extend support for families, the importance of family-inclusive practice and the value of Scottish Families as an organisation.
Colin also enjoys a range of leisure interests and is an active member of his local athletics club.
Jim joined the Board in 2016, he is current role the Director of Operations within the Scottish Prison Service. He has worked with SPS for 30 years having held a variety of roles including the Governor in Charge or Deputy Governor within a number of Scottish prisons. He has broad experience in areas such as people management, major project and programme management, risk management and organisational Change. He has an Mst in Criminology and Penology from the University of Cambridge and is married with two grown up children. Jim said “I am delighted to have the opportunity to support SFAD in shaping and delivering services to Scottish families”.
Michael joined the Board in April 2017. He works as a solicitor based in Glasgow. Michael has undertaken a wide variety of commercial and civil legal work during his career and brings this experience to the Board. When he is not working, Michael enjoys military history, American football and teaching himself to code.
Brenda joined the board in June 2017. She first began working in the NHS laboratories, to which she took a career break after to take time to have a family. She went to university and returned to the NHS, working in primary care as a Fund Manager then laterally as a Business Manager for Breast Screening until retiring five years ago.
She has experience on other boards and is currently a Trustee on the Board of her local church. She is also no stranger to volunteering, she is involved with several groups from babies to teens and attends a monthly group named WLKO – not a radio station but ‘Who Let the Kids Out’ – a fun time for families in the community.
Brenda joined the Scottish Families Board as she recognises the impact supporting families can have. Not just at crisis times but in the day-to-day ‘just getting by’.