I am a research intern with The Partnership Drugs Initiative at the Corra Foundation, a Scottish grant making organisation. The PDI is a grant within Corra that funds charities who support children and families affected by alcohol and drugs. Having completed my undergraduate degree in Sociology and Psychology, I completed my MSc in Gender Studies and are currently working with Scottish policy makers, academics and third sector organisations to improve child health and wellbeing for families in Scotland affected by alcohol and other drugs. I am primarily interested in research surrounding systemic inequalities, drugs and alcohol research and social policy development. I am also a member of PRAXXIS Women, a Scottish collective determined to improve outcomes for women affected by substance use. We are currently doing this by challenging policies regarding access to safer drug use spaces, increased family support and improved early intervention strategies.
Connections are key: unlocking relationship-based practice
The Corra Foundation are a Scottish grant making organisation, and the Partnership Drugs Initiative (PDI) is a grant within Corra that funds charities who support children and families affected by alcohol and drugs.
Taking place over 2019, the latest PDI project is gathering information on third sector support services and identifying elements of practice that support, strengthen and maintain positive relationships for children and families living with drugs and alcohol. The end purpose of this research is to create recommendations to influence knowledge, policy and practice of relationship-based support so that children and families can develop and sustain loving and nurturing relationships. A scoping review took place to gather information on relationship-based practice. This included evidence from policy reports, academia and government publications, and found a set of principles that on paper, work well for children and families affected by alcohol and drugs. Using these principles as principles of good practice, an archive review looked at evaluation reports supplied by all PDI’s funded charities between 2014-2019.The archive review found that most charities report working collaboratively with different services, rather than working collaboratively with multiple family members. This suggests a lack of high-quality relationship-based practice being provided to the family as a unit. This could be due a lack of knowledge, time, funding or resources. The current stage of research taking place involves qualitative interviews with practitioners and families across Scotland to provide a comparative reflection on what works in theory, and what works in reality from the experiences and reflections of those receiving support. The final stage taking place in October will host focus groups with families and practitioners with the aim of forming a guided set of recommendations on how to provide the best relationship-based support possible for children and families affected by alcohol and drugs in Scotland.