Main Content
Service Key to Change Age Group Children & Young People
Name Kirstie Howell Location Dundee
Position Team Manager Brief Description of Service
Telephone 01382 458 128

Positive lifestyle choices in order to reduce their drug/alcohol mis-use and/or associated risks.

View More
South East Pavillion
Baxter Park
Service Description

Our aim

Key to change supports young people to make positive lifestyle choices in order to reduce their drug/alcohol mis-use and/or associated risks. We recognise that young people have needs that are distinct from those of adults, and that an effective service needs to be tailor made to meet individual circumstances and goals.


What we Offer

  • An assessment, treatment and intervention service for young people 12-17 years living in Dundee, where concern has been identified with regard to their drug/alcohol use.
  • Personalised support packages, 'Plan for Change', designed to meet individual needs and goals.
  • Negotation of medical and clinical supervision with Tayside Health Board - Substance Misuse Service.
  • Provision of reports to Children's Hearings and Court and participation in case conferences, hearings and associates activities.
  • Liasion with a wide network of agencies to contribute to effective multi-agency working and co-ordination of service delivery.

We can also work as part of an exisiting support package or as the sole provider of the support.


It might be appropriate to refer a young person you know to Key to Change if:

  • They have been hospitilised due to alcohol/drug use.
  • They disclose that they are involved in drug/alcohol use on a regular basis.
  • They are increasingly being picked up by the police due to alcohol/drug use.
  • School, college or work is affected by their drug/alcohol use.

How to Refer

Call Key to Change to discuss refferal. We will ask for a basic background information on the young person, including the drug/alcohol use they have disclosed to you. Once you've returned the form the 'Process of Care' begins.

In some situations it may be more appropraite for you to support the young person to make a self referral to promote their independence. This is done using the same referral form.

Please ensure you discuss the referral with the young person before it is made and ensure you have their consent.

Who can Refer

We take referrals from any person who works with young people or families in statutory or voluntary agencies.

Parents, carers or concerned others, or the young persons' themselves can also refer.

If you are unsure whether the young persons' situation is suitable for a referral, please contact the service in order to discuss futher, without obligation.

Once an assessment is completed, Key to Change can determine whether the service is appropriate, if it is not we will try and assist you to make contact with a more appropriate agency.

Key to change is commissioned through Dundee City Council and funded through the Changing Children's Services Fund. Support from Key to Change is available to young people when they need it - daytime, evenings and weekends.

Key to Change - Model of Delivery

  1. Referral made to the service
  2. Initial Screening and Risk Assessment - as well as assessing substance misuse the risk assessment will include areas such as self harm, harm to others, personal safety/neglect to self/peer groups. Based on this rold of the K2C worker and their objectives will be areed with the referrer.
  3. Initial Screening - By K2C worker with a young person
  4. Referral Prioritised - By Gate Keeper (K2C Manager) and allocated to K2C worker if appropriate.
  5. Initial Meeting - Working agreement signed off by K2C worker and young person, outlining main goals and actions agreed.
  6. Comprehension Assessment - Completed by worker and young person.
  7. Assessment Feedback - Shared between worker and young person.
  8. Plan for Change - Issue and activities identified during assessment and transferred to 'Plan for Change' where tasks and goals are agreed by worker and young person.
  9. Review - The plan for Change will be formally reviewed with the young person, and referer if appropriate, every 3 month cycle or enter exit strategy.
  10. Exit Strategy - This includes specific relapse prevention and diversionary activities. For those 16 plus begin 3 months Transitional Plan to appropriate Adult Services, i.e ECLIPS.

Some questions to think about before making a referral to Key to Change

If in doubt...give us a call

  • Does the young person reside in Dundee or have strong links to Dundee; e.g. School?
  • Is the young person aged between 12-17?
  • Is the young person using drugs and/or alcohol on a regular basis?

The first three are non-negotiable, as young people must meet these criteria to be referred.

  • Does the young person's substance misuse interfere with family life?
  • Does the young person's substance misuse interfere with school life?
  • Does the young person's substance misuse interfere with physical health?
  • Does the young person's substance misuse interfere with mental well being?
  • Has the young person's substance misuse had any legal implications?
  • Is the young person concerned about their own substance misuse?
  • Is there a significant adult in the young person's life who is concerned about the substance misuse?
  • Has the young person been hospitilised due to alcohol/drug use?
  • Is the young person increasingly being picked up by the police due to alcohol/drug use?
  • Does the young person use substances alone?
  • Does the young person fund their drug use illegally? e.g. theft, prostitution etc.

If the young person meets a number of the other criteria they are suitable to be referred into Key to Change.


For more information contact :

Natalie Watson, Senior Practitioner.
Tel : 01382 458 128.

South East Pavillion,
Baxter Park,
Dundee, DD4 7HD.