Pilot scheme in Scotland to help children who place families at risk of eviction

Under a pilot scheme in Edinburgh, families whose children put
them at risk of eviction are to be given extra support, writes
Nicola Barry.

An intensive support team, consisting of social workers and
other professionals with parenting skills, will make regular visits
to the families in question.

Social workers will also act as mediators with neighbours where
necessary. It is hoped this intervention will encourage children to
behave themselves, and save their families from being

The scheme will be based on the highly successful Dundee
Families’ Project in Tayside, which is a partnership between
the local authority and the National Children’s Home.

About £150,000 of the annual cost of running the new
project will be met through a council fund for children’s
services. The council is also likely to use part of a £400,000
fund from the Scottish executive intended for tackling anti-social

Local authorities across Scotland see the venture as an
imaginative solution to a dilemma they all face from time to time,
namely, the need to protect neighbours from anti-social behaviour
while, at the same time, taking care of vulnerable children.

If the families show a willingness to co-operate with the service,
they could be given a short-term tenancy in a council home.

Edinburgh executive member for housing Sheila Gilmore said: “This
is one part of our much wider anti-social behaviour strategy. Of
course, it won’t be easy getting families at risk of eviction
back on track, but it will allow social work and housing officials
to work together with families who have reached the end of the
road. I suppose you could say it will be a last chance saloon.”

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