Advice

This page aims to help you find the information you need about how we can help. Click on any of the questions to reveal the answer. If you have a question that isn't answered on this page, please use the form to ask us and we'll do our best to get back to you promptly. Please note we can only provide qualified information on Sacro services and may signpost you to another agency for a more accurate response. For any other queries please use the contact page to get in touch.
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Young People

My son has stopped going to youth services and has recently been involved in a lot of anti-social behaviour. What can we do before things become worse?

If you live in the Aberdeen area there is a service providing an Assertive Outreach Service for young people up to 18 years of age, who have been involved in persistent offending/anti-social behaviour. They are helped to re-engage with services to meet their individual needs and stop from further engagement in serious and persistent offending. For more information visit this page.

Shelter Scotland and Action for Children can also provide information and advice about your child's anti-social behaviour. 

Young People

I am worried for a young relative who I think will re-offend. The family are struggling to cope with the situation, what support can be provided?

In Aberdeen Sacro offer an Intensive Support and Monitoring Service for children and young people up to 18 years of age. Packages of support are tailored to the needs and risks of individual young people. The service also offers out of hours support and a 24 hour on-call service for crisis response. If you would like to know more about the service visit this page.

Shelter Scotland and Action for Children can also provide information and advice on young people offending.

Young People

I am a teacher for a P7 class, before the students move up to High School I think they should learn more about peer support and mediation as many are worried about bullying. Can Sacro offer that kind of support?

Sacro offers a Schools Service which involves teaching the use of restorative practices and peer mediation schemes in both primary schools and academies. This can be done by staff training as well as working directly with staff / pupils to train them in peer mediation. Please visit this page for more details on how your school can get involved.

Young People, Restorative Justice

I work in a Secondary School as a Guidance Teacher and have recently been notified a pupil has vandalised the school.

Sacro’s Restorative Justice Service accepts direct referrals from schools for cases with an identifiable person responsible and person harmed. The service provides the young person with an opportunity to understand how people can get hurt, take steps to make amends, make positive changes and put the past behind them. Sacro does this by enabling communication to take place safely between the person harmed and the person responsible for the harm. If you would like to discuss a referral for this young person, please see this page for more information.

Education Scotland can also provide information on positive learning environments. 

Young People, Restorative Justice

My son was charged by the police and has been referred to Sacro’s Restorative Justice Service, will this affect his future?

If you commit an offence, the police will have this on record. If you apply for a job or are already working, your employer may ask if you have a police record and have the right to ask the police. What you do about it now is the most important thing. If you participate in Restorative Justice then you will be able to assure employers should they question your police record, that you worked with Sacro to make amends to the person harmed. Please visit this page for more information

Young People, Accommodation

I am only 15 and don’t have anywhere permanent to stay. Is there someone who can help me find accommodation so I am off the streets and less likely to offend again?

In Moray Sacro offers a Young Persons Support Accommodation service which helps young people to move on to successful independent living. It provides monitoring, supervision and support in a range of types of accommodation. For more information visit this page.

Your local Council will be able to provide more information on housing options in your area. If you are in need of emergency accommodation Shelter Scotland may be able to help, you can call free on 0808 800 4444. 

Young People, Accommodation

I was living with my partner but we split up and I am now homeless. I am not used to living alone, can Sacro help me?

After being referred to Sacro Supported Accommodation you will be offered a room in a shared flat where you will have support from a key worker and the staff team to help you gain entry to employment/education and support with areas such as drug/alcohol use, finance, and practical skills for living on your own before being offered your own tenancy. See this page for more details.

Shelter Scotland can also provide advice on homelessness and housing issues. 

Young People

I have a young family member who has been taken into custody and is due to appear in Sheriff Court. How can I find out what will happen to them?

Sacro provides a Court Support service for 16 and 17-year-olds appearing in court in Aberdeen. A support worker can visit the young person in custody to check on their welfare, give advice about the court process and be in court when the young person appears. With the young person’s agreement family members can be contacted and details about the outcome provided. Further information is available here.

The Scottish Courts website can also provide information on the Court process. 

Young People, Accommodation

We had lots of problems with our son who has moved out; we think he is now homeless. Is there a service which will help us speak to him?

Homelessness Mediation helps to resolve conflict/disputes between young people, families and landlords. The service also offers advice, guidance and assistance to connect with other support services. The main aim is to prevent homelessness. For more information visit here.

Shelter Scotland can provide extra information and advice on homelessness. 

Young People

My young teenage daughter has recently been in trouble with the police. Is there a way she can get some support and advice before she offends again and ends up in more trouble?

Early and Effective Intervention (EEI) helps to reduce the number of young people, under 18, being dealt with in the criminal justice system and receiving custodial sentences. An EEI Coordinator is appointed to work across local authorities to identify young people involved in offending who would benefit from early intervention. Support is offered according to their appropriate needs.

The Scottish Government is able to provide more information on Early and Effective Intervention. 

Accommodation

I am coming to the end of my sentence and I want to make some changes in my life, starting with where I live. Can someone help me find somewhere to live?

Sacro's Supported Accommodation service helps to provide individuals, completing their sentences, with accommodation; this could be in a shared flat, supported lodgings or single person flat. Support is given to maintain the tenancy, integrate into the community and reduce offending. Visit this page to find out more about this service.

Saro also works in patnership with Shelter Scotland and Inverness CAB (Citizen’s Advice Bureau) to provide SPAN Scotland (Supporting Prisoners; Advice Network). For more information visit our information page.

Accommodation

I am going to be released from prison soon and I am worried about living independently, is there somewhere I can go before living on my own?

Sacro offers a Supported Accommodation service in Moray. Here you will gain support from a key worker and staff team to help you gain skills for living independently. Find out more about this service on our Moray Homelessness Supported Accommodation page.

Contact your local Council for information on housing in your area.  

Accommodation, Alcohol Misuse

My husband and I have recently split up due to my alcohol use and I do not have anywhere to stay. Can you help me?

Sacro's Supported Accommodation can offer you support to live independently and to deal with your alcohol use. You will live in a shared flat and a key worker will help you to access services which will help you to deal with your alcohol use, as well as offering guidance on finding a property, dealing with letters and finance. Find out more about how this works on our page.

The NHS can provide information on where to find alcohol support. 

Accommodation

My sentence is coming to an end and I want help to make sure I stay away from drugs and to help me get on the right track, how can you help?

Sacro's Throughcare service provides advice and guidance to prisoners before and after they released from prison. Staff can provide support with issues such as accommodation, drug and alcohol use, health and benefits. This is a voluntary service, to find out more visit the Throughcare Service page. 

The Scottish Government can provide information on the differences between Statutory Throughcare and Voluntary Throughcare. 

Accommodation

My family member has been diagnosed with a mental health problem which is linked to their offending. They are looking for somewhere to live however we are worried they will re-offend. Is there a service which can help stop this from happening?

The Supported Tenancy Service helps people with mental health problems and offending histories to live safely and securely in their own tenancies. Housing support is provided to individuals appropriate to their needs, enabling them to reintegrate into the local community and reduce the likelihood of re-admission to hospital/re-offending. If you are interested in this service, visit here for more information.

The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and your local GP can provide information and advice on mental health. 

Accommodation

My partner is being released soon but my landlord doesn’t want my partner living here. I’m scared we are going to be homeless, how can I stop this from happening?

Sacro works alongside Shelter Scotland and Inverness CAB (Citizen’s Advice Bureau) to provide Supporting Prisoners Advice Network (SPAN). SPAN aims to prevent homelessness by providing housing advice and support to offenders in prisons in Aberdeen and Peterhead and their families.

There are regular drop in support sessions for families which can help you deal with any housing related issues. Visit here to find out further information on the project. 

 

Accommodation

I have been referred for the Housing Support Service in Dumfries, what does this mean?

Sacro’s Housing Support Service will help you gain the independence you and need to live in your home. Along with a support worker you set goals and this support can last up to 2 years. Support can vary from advice on budgeting and general chores around the home to helping you meet new people. For further information on this service visit this page.

Restorative Justice

I received a letter from the Procurator Fiscal explaining Sacro’s Restorative Justice Service was a diversion from prosecution. What does this mean?

Restorative Justice focuses on what needs to happen to address the harm caused by crime. The service allows communication about the crime to take place safely between the person harmed and the person responsible for the harm.

Communication can be face-to-face or through a trained facilitator as a ‘go-between’. The Procurator Fiscal has final say on prosecution but will take this into consideration when making their decision. Your Restorative Justice facilitator can answer all your questions on how the service operates. Please visit this page for more details.

Women

I have been referred to Shine Women’s Mentoring Service, I don’t understand what this means – what do I have to do for it?

Through Shine Women’s Mentoring Service you will have a mentor who will help you to develop your independence and quality of life, improve your social skills and motivation. The service will help get involved with the community and help you to stop offending.  Please visit here for more details.

The service is also delivered by Apex Scotland, Barnardo’s, Circle, The Wise Group, Turning Point Scotland, Access to Industry, Venture Trust.

Women

I am a sex worker however recently I have been threatened and no longer feel safe. Is there anywhere I can find support and help with getting out of this type of work?

Another Way service is to provide intense 1:1 support to sex workers in Edinburgh. The service offers help with addictions, domestic abuse, healthcare, housing, benefits, training and employment, and help with exiting sex work. If you would like to discuss this further please visit this page for more information and contact details.

 You can also sign up to the National Ugly Mugs (NUM) Pilot Scheme for free and receive warnings about dangerous individuals who are a threat to you. 

In an emergency always call Police Scotland on 999 and to report a crime dial 101. 

Women

I have recently been released from custody and want to turn my life around; I don’t want to go back to jail. Is there a service I can use just for women?

Sacro work in partnership with NHS Lothian and City of Edinburgh Council on a project called Willow. The project supports women by helping to improve their health, wellbeing and safety. Willow helps women to increase their access to services and to reduce offending behaviour. For more information visit this page. NHS Lothian also have information on this service.  

Sacro also offers Shine Women's Mentoring Service, which is only for women helping them get involved with the community and stop offending. 

Women, Domestic Abuse

My husband has been abusive to me and my children. Where can I go for advice and support?

Sacro's Violence Against Women allows women and children affected by domestic abuse to receive support. This is after your partner/ex-partner is referred to the court mandated Caledonian Domestic Abuse group work programme. If you would like to know more please see this page for more information.

Scottish Women’s Aid  and ASSIST can also provide more information and help with domestic abuse. Freephone 24 Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline for anyone affected by domestic abuse - 0800 027 1234
 
In emergencies always call Police Scotland on 999 or to report a crime call 101. 
 

Women, Domestic Abuse

When I get angry I have hit my partner. Is there help I can get?

The Positive Intervention Programme is for men in the Glasgow area who know they are hurting their partner and want to change. You may have been charged with a domestic abuse related offence already or just want to address your behaviour before it gets out of hand. It is a confidential and voluntary group programme which will help you make positive steps to change. For more information on the programme visit this page.

There are also places that offer help and support, you can talk to your GP or contact domestic violence organisations such Respect. Call the Respect Phoneline - 0808 802 40 40 (free from landlines and mobile phones) or email: info@respectphoneline.org.uk.

Neighbour Disputes

I’ve been invited to attend mediation but I have done nothing wrong so why should I have to go?

Mediation is completely voluntary so you don’t have to go but it is in your interest to try and resolve the difficulties between you, even if you feel none of it is your fault.

Mediation does not try to lay blame at anyone’s door. It concentrates on the future rather than what may or may not have happened in the past. Please visit this page for more details.

Neighbour Disputes

I am having problems with my neighbours as they are being loud at night time, how do I resolve the situation?

Mediation is a way of trying to resolve disagreements between people. A mediator is someone trained to help everyone involved reach a fair and reasonable agreement. The mediator will not take sides or force any decisions. They can help settle disagreements over noise, abusive behaviour, boundaries and a whole range of other issues. Please visit this page for more details.

Neighbour Disputes

I would like to resolve an issue with my neighbour however I’m too scared to sit in the same room as my neighbour.

Community Mediation allows you to meet with a mediator in your home where you can discuss any worries you have with them. Mediators will not suggest mediation as a way forward if they believe you are going to come to any harm.

At the meeting, it is the mediators’ job to make sure that the environment is a safe one. They will set ground rules at the start i.e. no abusive language or threatening behaviour, and if they feel that someone is breaking those rules, they will end the session immediately. However if you feel that a meeting is not suitable, the mediators may still be able to help you have some communication with your neighbours to try and resolve the problem, this is known as  ‘shuttle’ mediation. Visit this for more information and contact details.

Prison & Post Release

My partner is being released from prison after a 2 year jail sentence. I am worried he is going to struggle to cope once he is released. Is there anyone we can speak to who can offer him some help and advice?

Throughcare is a voluntary service for those leaving prison following a short sentence of under 4 years. Sacro will visit the prisoner, prior to release, to help plan their reintegration into the community and set up access to any support services they may need. Sacro staff will also be available to the service user, and their family, following release to deal with any difficulties they may be facing in their new environment. Please visit this page for more information on the service.

The Scottish Government can provide information on the differences between Statutory Throughcare and Voluntary Throughcare. Your local Council will also be able to provide information on Throughcare services in your area. 

Prison & Post Release

My boyfriend is in prison and I want to visit him but it's expensive and the public buses don't match to visiting times. Is there another way of getting there?

Sacro provides a travel service to prisions and NHS forensic services throughout Scotland for people who would otherwise struggle to keep in touch with their relatives and loved ones. The service is available from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Please see this page for more information on this.

If a fare is required, this can often be refunded by the Assisted Prison Visiting Unit.

The Scottish Prison Service provides up to date information on prison visiting times.

Prison & Post Release

I'm nervous about being released from prison, what help is out there?

Outreach & Accommodation Support Service (OASS) is a service aimed at supporting ex-offenders reintegrate into the community which works alongside Criminal Justice Social Work. A support plan is tailored towards individual service user needs. For example, if a service user feels socially isolated their support plan will concentrate on finding appropriate social activities. Your Criminal Justice Support Worker will support you in sourcing and going along to social activities if this is required. Visit this page for more details.

If you are worried and need someone to talk to helplines such as the Samaritans are open 24 hours a day. 

Arrest - Remand - Bail

I have heard a few people mention a bail curfew, can anyone get it?

You can request the Court Bail Officer to carry out an assessment of suitability. Sacro’s Bail Curfew Service provides a curfew service between 7pm and 7am. Sacro staff visit service users throughout the week. For more information visit this page.

The Scottish Government can also provide information on bail services. If you have any questions about bail, you should contact the Scottish Court Service.

Arrest - Remand - Bail

A family member was recently released from custody and the police told him about Sacro's Arrest Referral Service, what is this?

The Arrest Referral Service is a voluntary service and is not a formal part of the criminal justice process. The service engages with people at the point of arrest whose offending is linked to drug or alcohol misuse. By seeing the offender as soon as they are arrested, Sacro can offer them a pathway into harm reduction, treatment and rehabilitation services.

Arrest - Remand - Bail

My partner is due it court but we have been told it is unlikely he will get bail. Is there any way we can change this?

Sacro's Bail Supervision Service supports individuals, who are at risk of having standard bail refused an alternative to remands in custody. Individuals are offered support and advice in relation to issues that could result in further court appearances. They will also be monitored a minimum of three times a week and their progress is reported back to the courts.

If you have any questions about bail, you should contact the Scottish Court Service.

Arrest - Remand - Bail

I am an elderly person looking for help with DIY tasks around my home. Can I use the Community Payback Service?

Sacro’s Community Payback Service provides a positive way for individuals to make amends by providing a service to those in the community who have difficulty in getting small jobs done around their home. The Sacro Community Payback Service will provide the labour and tools to undertake tasks. All we ask is that the individual provides materials for the job such as paint, fixings, wood etc.

The Scottish Government can provide more information on Community Payback projects. 

Sexual Offences

I have heard Sacro help sex offenders in the community, does this work?

Sacro's Circles of Support and Accountability is a service which identifies suitable members of the public to monitor and support a sex offender in the community. This has proved to be an extremely effective way of reducing the risk of further offending. Volunteers are trained, supported and supervised by appropriate professionals throughout the period of contact with offenders.