Our New Strategy 2020-2023 – ‘Change Will Come’

“My message for other families would be never give up, keep going. Don’t be feart to voice your opinion. Contact Scottish Families who are a great support. Join a group, a family group that’s experiencing the same stuff as yourself, join in with them because we’re all in the same boat. And families, if we all stick together and get our message out then hopefully, change will come.” (Karen, family member)

Here it is! Our new strategy for 2020-2023 – ‘Change Will Come’. Identifying 12 Key Changes we will work on over the next three years including development and improvement on our existing services.

‘Change Will Come’ was said by our friend Karen McLeod in her #BehindTheNumbers film. We felt these words were powerful and had a clear action and message for all families in Scotland.

One in three adults say they have been negatively affected by the alcohol or drug use of someone they know. In Scotland, it has been estimated that up to 60,000 children are affected by parental drug use, and up to 51,000 children are affected by parental alcohol use.

Yet most families who are harmed by someone else’s substance use remain hidden from sight. Even those closest to them – friends, work colleagues and other family members – can be unaware of what is going on. This is due to the secrecy, shame and stigma of addiction in the family, as well as a lack of visible and high-quality local support, feelings of isolation and loneliness, and a sense of powerlessness and disconnection.

Our ‘Change Will Come’ Strategy (2020-23) identifies 12 Key Changes which we want to see in the next 3 years. As well as these Key Changes, we will continue to develop and improve all of our existing services and activities. We will know we have succeeded when we have no more hidden families.

The early development of this Strategy started before the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that coronavirus will continue to impact on how we work, and the issues families are facing, for some time to come. We have taken this into account as far as possible in this Strategy and in our delivery plans. Thank you to all the family members and partner organisations who helped us develop this Strategy during the COVID-19 lockdown in Spring 2020. We were unable to meet in person, so we held a series of online, face-to-face engagement conversations. Over half (55%) of participants were family members with personal experience of someone else’s alcohol or drug use.


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