What is Alternative to Care (ATC)

ATC is a 24 hour helpline to support our current young people and families to prevent situations escalating or offering practical advice and support.

Examples of how ATC have helped young people and families

  • The ATC staff are experienced residential staff who have utilised their skills and knowledge to ensure that young people could remain at home by spending overnights at the family home while Child Protection processes are concluded.
  • Supporting young people whose tenancy or placement has ended prematurely, with no move on plan, therefore resulting in them having to stay within hotels for a period of time.
  • Helping young people within a homeless tenancy until the ATC team can get the young person back into their kinship care placement.
  • Supported trafficked young people being found within West Dunbartonshire by responding out of hours to ensure that the young people are placed in a safe environment and supported until the mainstay services kick in, sometimes meaning having to support them over a couple of days and nights.

How can a young person access the service?

Referrals to ATC come through the Area Resource Group from the teams within Social Services, (Youth Services and Children Under 12s teams), after agreement at the relevant forums, Team Around The Child, Initial referral discussions or Child Protection Case Discussions.

A young person can be referred to the service if there is an ongoing crisis situation or as a means to prevent a situation escalating into crisis.  The ATC team are involved in early intervention undertaken by various relevant forums.