Phoenix Futures Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government, has officially opened its new National Specialist Family Service on Canal Street in Saltcoats with a visit from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Called Harper House, it is the first dedicated service of its kind in Scotland for families affected by a parent’s mental health, drug and alcohol problems.
A unique family-focused service, Harper House supports families from across Scotland to stay together while helping parents receive specialist support for recovery from drug and alcohol problems in a safe, structured and substance-free environment. By working closely with North Ayrshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership, Phoenix Futures Scotland will ensure that the service complements the existing local support available for families.
At the official opening, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“We are determined to make it easier for people with problem drug or alcohol use to access treatment, so I am pleased to open this facility offering families the chance to stay together while parents receive specialist support in a safe and structured environment.
“Though men are more likely to use and experience harms from drugs, there has been a disproportionate increase in drug related deaths among women and there is a strong link between women having children removed from their care and risk of drug-related death.
“Harper House is funded through the Residential Rehabilitation Rapid Capacity Programme and will contribute towards the Scottish Government’s aim to treble the number of publicly funded residential rehabilitation placements to 1,000 by 2026.”
Phoenix Futures Chief Executive Karen Biggs said:
“We are delighted to be working with Scottish Government to launch this innovative new service. Harper House will support families affected by mental health and substance use to access the care they need to lead happy and healthy lives.
“The pressures of family life, combined with the range of support parents may need to access in their communities, can make it impossible for parents to give their families the care they desire. Phoenix Futures Scotland’s Harper House brings together onsite multi-disciplinary experts, evidence based interventions and a specially designed environment so that families from across Scotland can live and learn together.”
Councillor Marie Burns, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said:
“Phoenix Futures Scotland’s Harper House in Saltcoats will be a truly transformative service providing vital 24 hours a day support for families affected by a parent’s mental health, drug and alcohol problems. We have been working closely with the charity to ensure that this vital new service works well alongside the existing support available for local families in North Ayrshire Council. We were especially pleased to see First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visit to officially open this new National Specialist Family Service.”
By providing a homely environment that is safe, secure, supportive and stimulating the service aims to ensure that all families using the service feel loved and respected. Harper House will continue to liaise with the local community to explain how the service will contribute positively to the town and the surrounding area.
About services at Harper House National Specialist Family Service:
- parents will be able to remain as carers of their children at the same time as taking part in a personalised recovery programme
- by providing early intervention the centre will prevent intergenerational cycles of trauma, adverse childhood experiences and substance use disorders
- each family will benefit from the support of Phoenix Futures Scotland’s specialist childcare staff
- families will generally stay at the new service for three to six months on pre-arranged placements
- the service offers a peaceful and structured therapeutic programme in a drug and alcohol-free environment
- upon completing the programme they will return to their home local authority where aftercare support will be in place to help them continue their recovery
- there is a dedicated team of 31 people at Harper House and the majority of staff have been recruited from North Ayrshire
- the Phoenix Futures Scotland team has been working hard to prepare the new service for the first arrival of families
- the service will run Recovery through Nature with activities including tree planting, beach combing, planting pots at train stations and a range of conservation projects
- Phoenix Futures has a track record of being a good neighbour and supporting the communities in which it works
Phoenix Futures has 50 years’ experience specialising in providing registered care home services and supporting people in recovery and discovered that the early intervention and prevention approach supports parents and helps break the intergenerational transmission of trauma.
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