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Social inclusion

A commitment to removing barriers to social inclusion is at the core of the ambition for ‘recovery oriented services’. This means, for example, providing individuals and families affected by drug or alcohol problems with access to appropriate housing and opportunities for meaningful activity, including employment. It also means address the negative attitudes that are too often a barrier to re-integration and recovery. DrugScope also highlights the social contexts for drug and alcohol problems – including trauma and abuse, poverty and lack of opportunity – are the need for early intervention and policy that addresses the causes as well as the consequences of dependency.

The social inclusion agenda is at the core of much of DrugScope’s policy work, and we have close working relationships with a range of organisations and agencies working in criminal justice, housing, mental health, welfare and employment support and other areas of social policy.

Recent DrugScope Activity

Pathways to Employment 2014 (PDF): This report was produced as part of the LDAN Pathways to Employment project, funded by Trust for London. The report pulls together several strands of work, including surveys with employers and jobseekers, and in-depth interviews with people in or having recently left treatment for drug and / or alcohol use. The report highlights examples of current good practice as well as identifying key barriers to employment and suggests ways to overcome them.

The Work Programme: In June 2011, the Department for Work and Pensions introduced the Work Programme – an initiative that replaces almost all previous programmes including Flexible New Deal and Progress2Work. The Work Programme aims to provide tailored support to help the long-term unemployed and those with additional barriers into paid work using a payment by results model.

The House & Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee is holding an inquiry that will look at various aspects of the Work Programme, including the experience of different customer groups. DrugScope has heard anecdotal feedback about the experience that people with histories of substance use have had on the Work Programme, and is keen to find out more before formally submitting evidence to the Select Committee in early December. We are keen to hear any case stories (positive or negative) as well as getting an overview of people’s experience in connection to things such as outcomes, the quality of service and whether people have had their benefits sanctioned as a consequence of being unable to meet Work Programme requirements.

The survey: This survey is designed to be completed by keyworkers alongside clients and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. It is entirely confidential, no personal information that could identify an individual is asked for, and any personal information volunteered that might identify any individual or service provider will be redacted before the results are used to inform DrugScope’s submission to the Work & Pensions Select Committee. For more information, please contact Paul Anders, Senior Policy Officer, DrugScope: Email: paul.anders@drugscope.org.uk
Phone: 020 7234 9799

Making Every Adult Matter. DrugScope is a member of the Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) coalition in partnership with Clinks, Homeless Link and Mind, which was formed to influence policy and practice to support people with multiple needs, who are among the most socially excluded. The MEAM vision is set out in Turning the Tide (2011) (PDF)

Our work with the recovery partnership As a member of the Recovery Partnership, DrugScope is committed to ensuring that the views and concerns of the drugs field are represented to Government. We have prepared and presented a number of papers to the Inter-Ministerial Group on Drug Policy on social inclusion issues, such as housing and employment.

London network for homelessness services.Through the London Drug and Alcohol Network, DrugScope has been delivering a four year project to support better substance misuse interventions for homeless people, with funding from London Councils.

Pathways to employment Through the London Drug and Alcohol Network, DrugScope has been delivering a four year project to identify and support good practice to provide pathways into employment for users of drug and alcohol services, with funding from Trust for London.

DrugScope resources

Reports and briefings

Building for Recovery (2012) (PDF) This report by DrugScope on behalf of the Drug Sector Partnership identifies the key constituents of a ‘recovery-oriented’ treatment system and discusses both the opportunities and risks for the drug and alcohol treatment sector at a time of far-reaching policy change and financial austerity. It concludes with ten key recommendations.

Bitesized Briefing – The Localism Agenda (2012) (PDF) DrugScope overview and update on localism.

Bitesized Briefing - Welfare reform update – what’s going on? (2011) (PDF)DrugScope up-date on recent changes to welfare policy.

Drug Treatment at the Crossroads (2009) (PDF) This report influenced the political debate on drug treatment,and the development of the 2010 Drug Strategy. It was based on extensive consultation with our members and other key stakeholders. At a time when the public debate about treatment was becoming more polarised, it argued for a balanced treatment system.

Consultation responses

DrugScope response to the Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry on drug policy (2012) (PDF)

DrugScope response to the Building Recovery in Communities consultation (2011) (PDF)

DrugScope response to the Spending Review consultation (2010) (PDF)

DrugScope response to the Drug Strategy consultation (2010) (PDF)