Around 230 children and young people are in the care system in the Scottish Borders, with approximately 40 of those living in costly placements outside the local authority area.
A new service to be piloted later this year will help to keep children and families together within their local communities and reduce the numbers of children needing to be taken in to care.
It will initially focus on the towns of Hawick and Galashiels, with provision for wider support considered following the pilot.
Aberlour Children’s Charity will work with Scottish Borders Council, children, young people, families and local partners to develop a highly responsive service for families at the ‘edge of care’.
It will deliver the support that families need, when they need it, every day of the year. The council has provided funding to pilot this development for 12 months with a view to informing a strategy for future family support.
The service will provide support and encouragement for families who are often facing challenges at home, at school and in the community. It will help families to build on strengths and grow in confidence, reducing the need for children to be placed outside the region by helping to build happier and healthier communities.
The initiative will also create 11 new jobs for the Borders area, with applications now open for the Family Support Team which will help deliver this service. The roles include a Service Manager, Assistant Service Manager, four full-time Support Worker roles, four part-time Support Worker roles, and an administrator. Full details for each of the roles and how to apply can be found by visiting the Aberlour website.
Jim Wallace, Director Children and Family services at Aberlour, said: “We know that early intervention works, and if we can reach families soon enough we can prevent them reaching crisis point. Aberlour Sustain is all about providing a service tailored to the needs of each family and their unique set of circumstances.”