Future Pathways joins forces with Police Scotland to reach out to in care survivors in criminal justice system

  • On 29th September 2017

An innovative new initiative, aimed to reaching out to survivors of in care abuse or neglect caught up in the criminal justice system, has been launched this week by Police Scotland and Future Pathways, Scotland’s In Care Survivor Support Fund.

Future Pathways is a £13.5million support fund launched in September 2016 to provide a range of help and support to those who were abused and neglected as children while they were living in care in Scotland. There are now almost 460 people across Scotland and beyond registered with the organisation, many of whom have already received help and support to move forward with their lives.

The new partnership, the first of its kind in Scotland, will see anyone who comes through any of Police Scotland’s custody suites across the country automatically given a Future Pathways leaflet before they leave, providing them with information about Future Pathways and contact information to help them register for support. Around 160, 000 people come through the custody suites each year, offering an invaluable opportunity to help to stop the cycle of re-offending that can occur for some, and make sure that survivors get the help and support they need.

Head of Future Pathways Flora Henderson said: “I’m delighted to be launching this important partnership with Police Scotland, which we hope will provide a vital route for in-care survivors in the criminal justice system to access the help and support they need.

“Our goal is to provide person-centred support to help survivors of abuse or neglect lead full, healthy and independent lives. To date, over 400 survivors have registered with us, but we know there are many, many more people out there who have had similar experiences and who could really benefit from our help and support, and partnership working with agencies such as Police Scotland is crucial to making this happen.”

Chief Superintendent Garry McEwan, Police Scotland’s Custody Division, said:  “Many of the people we see in custody are vulnerable for a variety of reasons, some will have spent time in care. Where we identify a vulnerability or a wellbeing issue, we try to ensure that that person has access to appropriate support. Future Pathways will enable us to work even closer with key partner agencies to support victims and survivors, breaking that cycle of offending and helping to improve the lives of those individuals and communities across Scotland.”

The team at Future Pathways work with survivors to identify the right support for them, which has included: access to education and work, counselling, access to personal records and access to health and wellbeing support.