About PDI

Partnership Drugs Initiative (PDI) promotes voluntary sector work with children, young people and families affected by alcohol and or other drugs. It has been running since 2001, specifically looking to:

  • Increase the wellbeing of children and young people (0 – 25) in Scotland affected by alcohol and or other drugs.
  • Help develop and influence both local and national policy.

All applications to PDI are reviewed by our steering group, which is made up of people with extensive experience of drugs, alcohol, children and families – gained either through their own life experiences or through their profession.  Each application to PDI is also reviewed by a panel of young people, who make recommendations on the proposals.

In August 2014 the PDI launched its new strategic direction which runs until 2017 and focuses on how the programme can continue to help improve the outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.   The strategy has four specific areas:

  • Identifying and addressing geographical gaps

The PDI aims to work closely with local partners to help identify opportunities that would reach communities across Scotland.  Continue on to the “PDI Approach” to learn more about our approach.

  • Identifying and addressing thematic gaps

Through the knowledge and learning gathered from supported projects over the years, PDI reflects and uses the information to help us continue to look at how we can identify and address any specific gaps in support for children and young people.  Learn more about how we are progressing in our first thematic gap, ‘understanding the recovery needs for children and young people’. Learn more on the “Addressing Thematic Gaps” area of this page.

  • Disseminating Learning

It is important that PDI learning and knowledge is shared and actively look at opportunities to highlight the impact that supported projects are making and the contribution to policy and practice.  Learn more on the “Learning Exchange” area of this page.

  • Optimising Funding

PDI will aim to continue to ensure that monies are distributed and can maximise on the impact of locally developed services that support positive outcomes for children and young people.

The PDI is a strategic partnership funding programme and is currently supported by Corra Foundation and the Scottish Government.

PDI Approach

PDI is a relationship programme. The aim is to work alongside policy makers, local partners and projects to ensure collectively we can make a positive difference to children and young people affected by alcohol and or other drugs.

PDI works closely with all potential and supported groups to help us improve our approach and understanding of what it takes to make a difference to children and young people.   Support for groups is offered by sharing our learning and knowledge from other groups and partners.   Through the PDI programme projects can expect:

During the application stage PDI staff will:

  • Visit your project to discuss the programme in more detail and to hear more about the work that you do.
  • Provide support with developing your application.
  • Look at drafts application forms, provide comments and feedback.
  • Provide full feedback on all applications to help future developments

For more information on the PDI application material read our PDI Guidance Notes 2019.

If your project is supported PDI staff will:

  • Provide a 5 day training programme (4 groups and 1:1 session) to help you develop your own evaluation plans that will support you to evidence the impact of your work and explore the sustainability of your project.
  • Provide feedback on your reports to help better understand what helps make a difference for children and young people
  • Regular visits to better understand the development of your service
  • Links and networking opportunities with other groups and projects to share learning and knowledge
  • Support at any time around planning, funding or anything linked to your project that you feel will help

PDI aims to work alongside local partners, primarily Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) to ensure support can contribute to local strategic plans. PDI are happy to work with ADPs and partners to

  • Share PDI learning that can contribute to local support for children and young people.
  • Work with ADPs and other partners to develop a proposal.

To help PDI identify and address geographical gaps we are proactively engaging with ADPs across Scotland where there is currently no PDI presence to start conversations and look at potential merits of working together. This has included developing new supported projects, facilitating sessions to share PDI learning with local practitioners, providing insight into work that is being delivered in other areas across Scotland.

PDI staff work closely with colleagues in Scottish Government to ensure the learning from PDI supported projects and engagement with local partners informs national practice and policy.

PDI Supported Groups

PDI funded groups will be supported to build links and opportunities to share the learning you gather from your work.

  • Reporting – You will be asked to provide us with an annual report. PDI will provide three days evaluation support. Please see the Evaluation Support Framework.
  • Learning from each other and making connections with other groups across Scotland. There is a detailed list of all groups including contact information to help make the links in the Funded Project List.

If you would like to update your information or the contact details have changed for the lead in the project then please complete and return the Authorisation Form.

PDI  promotes awareness and opportunities that can help support children and young people affected by alcohol and or other drugs. This includes networking opportunities, briefing materials and reports.

How To Apply for Funding

PDI is focused on supporting projects delivering in communities across Scotland that aim to increase the well-being of children and young people affected by drugs and alcohol with the three target areas of support, children and young people that are:

  •        At risk of physical and/or emotional neglect due to their parent/carers alcohol and/or other drug use,
  •       Struggling to understand or manage change and feelings due to their parents/carers recovery from alcohol and/or drugs.
  •        Likely to experiment or use alcohol and other drugs as a coping mechanism by showing signs of: multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), their own risky or damaging use of alcohol and or/other drugs.

PDI provides funding support and will contribute up to a maximum of 50% towards the overall costs of delivering a project/service that will help improve outcomes for children and young people. You can apply for up to three years.

If you are thinking about applying to the PDI we would encourage you:

  • Contact us – we are happy to chat through your ideas and give you guidance and support on the next steps
  • Discuss your idea with your local Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) – all applications to the PDI must be supported by the ADP therefore it is important to ensure your ideas contribute and connect to the local plans.

The PDI has a two stage-application process:

Stage 1 – Initial Stage (this is a short application which will be reviewed by a Young People’s Panel and expert Steering Group)

If successful at stage 1 you will be invited to develop a full application. Feedback from both groups is given to everyone at this stage.

Stage 2 – Full application (this is a longer application which gives you an opportunity to provide more information on plans, local needs and the intended outcomes for children and young people)

Throughout both stages PDI staff are available to provide guidance and support and will work with you throughout both stages.

The PDI closing dates for 2019/2020 are:

Round 1 Round 2
Initial Stage 10 October 2019 May 2020
Full Stage 30 Jan 2020 June 2020
Outcome March 2020 December 2020

For further information on the PDI please download a copy of our PDI Guidance Notes 2019

Upon reading the guidance notes if you feel you works is aligned to the PDI approach then contact us on 0131 444 4020.

Addressing Thematic Gaps

As part of the PDI’s strategic plan for 2014-2017 one aim was to take a proactive approach to addressing gaps to supporting the needs of children and young people affected by substance issues.

The first thematic gap address – To improve our understanding of the recovery needs for children and young people, whose parents are in recovery, Everyone Has a Story.

What we did:

  • Collaborated with children, young people and practitioners
  • Worked with young people to design a text based approach on how they want to share their story
  • Worked with a group of practitioners to gather and analysis the stories told to them by children and young people
  • Consulted with 207 practitioners on what they hear from children and young people

What we learnt:

  • The importance of listening to children and young people before acting; our assumptions need to take a back seat
  • There is little in the research that tells us about the impact of recovery on children and young people
  • Young people should have control over how to access and share information; they have ideas and thoughts on how to share their story
  • We need to continue to look at ways to improve joined-up approaches between adult and children and family services

The work was facilitated in part by Evaluation Support Scotland and Ice Cream Architecture.

Everyone Has a Story – Overview Report – more information on the findings and supportive evidence can be found in the Learning Exchange area.

Learning Exchange

PDI funds a wide range of projects throughout Scotland who all make a difference to children and young people affected by drugs and alcohol.

Since 2001 when the first grant was made we have started to are a pattern of areas of support, this list is not exhaustive but gives some insight into the approaches delivered by funded groups

  • Intensive support for children affected by parental substance use (including young carers)
  • Intensive whole family focused approaches to supporting children and young people.
  • Intensive support for young people with their own issues
  • Preventative approaches for children and young people who at risk of developing drug and/or alcohol issues
  • Peer mentoring and support
  • Befriending/Mentoring

Understanding of the importance of relationships and flexibility of support is a key component in nearly all PDI supported projects.

Details on all projects supported through PDI can be found in the Funded Project List.

PDI continues to use knowledge from funded work to help inform practice guides, shape future which has helped inform Government and our own national resource and support guides including;

Reversing the Trend is about the role the youth sector plays in preventing problem substance use by young people. The purpose is to offer an insight into what outcomes can be achieved by providing preventative approaches from universal help through to more specialist support for young people – and how to evaluate them. We are focused on substance use but we are aware youth work also contributes to other cross-cutting issues facing young people.
Please see Reversing the Trend – Key Messages Summary for more information.

Everyone Has a Story is about understanding the recovery needs for children and young people whose parents are in recovery. This work took an innovative approach to understanding and researching an identified gap in knowledge. It took a collaborative approach that focused on keeping children and young people’s voices central.

As a result of the work we have produced a number of resources:

Everyone Has a Story – Component 1
The stories and suggested methods and approached designed to help us analysis stories better.

Everyone Has a Story – Component 2 (What Practitioners Tell Us)
The views and experiences from practitioners gathered during the summer 2015.

Everyone Has a Story – Component 3 (How to Share Our Story)
A blueprint designed by young people on ‘how to share their story’

Everyone Has a Story – Component 4 (Evidence Review)
The evidence review

Everyone Has a Story – Appendices
Glossary of terms, references and additional resources.

The key findings and recommendations are contained within the Overview Report.

PDI is working hard with key partners to take forward the recommendations so far we have…

  • Shared findings on existing websites to help influence the Scottish Government in planning future preventative approaches

Incorporated findings into the National Recovery Outcomes Framework recognises the voice of children and young people.


About PDI Work

“I truly believe that his involvement throughout the research has helped facilitate the beginning of X trying to understand the enormity of his personal life and how best to cope and deal with his emotions.”

Clued Up Worker (in relation to young person’s involvement in PDI’s Everyone Has a Story action learning)

“I think it’s very important what you have done – you are doing a fantastic job in shining a light on the issue! Thank you!”

Laura Williamson, Penn State University (in relation to Everyone Has a Story action learning)

“Working with partners/groups to look at outcomes, indicators. Helped me focus and think about what we can do.”

Feedback from participant Day 1 PDI learning set support on outcomes June 2015

“PDI provided an excellent partnership with our organisation, and we particularly valued the ‘face-to-face’ and interactive nature of the support provided.”

Feedback from Supported Project July 2016

About Young People

“Mentoring has changed my attitude towards school life. I didn’t really care about anything before but I now care about things like my future and I know about things like revision and its importance. Before I wouldn’t have bothered getting notes from classes for revision but now I do.”

Feedback from young person supported by Barnardo’s Hopscotch Perth (PDI Supported Project)

“Just to say a huge thank you from us to you for your input at the meeting. It is really much appreciated and good to know we have someone on our side as it feels like a long and very lonely journey. We felt so much better knowing that you are looking out for “B” and understand him. We really, really appreciate it and just wanted you to know this.”

Feedback from parents of young person supported by Stable Life (PDI Supported Project)