Professional Referral

What can we offer as a service?

Footsteps will work closely with professionals and the family to encourage the best outcomes possible. Footsteps will work with clients individually and as a whole family.

We aim to empower individuals to achieve changes within family relationships, provide accurate information about substances, reduce fear, shame and stigma associated with substance misuse and increasing resilience of individuals to regain control over their own lives.

Some of the support service we offer

  • One-one support

If the referral is for a child in an educational setting, we will aim to see them in school during free periods as this is usually considered a safe space for them.

We do not hold a waiting list for either our support or counselling service.

  • Counselling

The counsellor will be a qualified, person-centred counsellor using various techniques, whilst adhering to the BACP Ethical Framework.

  • Telephone support

Our helpline is open 5 days a week 9am-5pm.

  • Support groups

For all ages, we currently hold support groups for children aged 4-11 years old, 12-19-year olds and a separate adult’s group. All groups run after school time and in the school holidays.

  • Home visits

Footsteps will complete home visits when necessary if a client is unable to make it into the Footsteps office or if its more convenient if we are going to speak with the whole family.

  • Wellbeing programme

An 8-week programme for children and young people aged between 4-18 years old.

  • Family run programme – M-PACT

A 10-week programme for the whole family. More information below.

  • Respite opportunities

We always try our best to have amazing respite days, some of our most recent days  have included Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Alton Towers, Bowling and Movie days.

  • School visits

Where possible we will see children in our Footsteps offices. If this is not possible, we will contact school and see them in free periods to avoid disrupting their education.

  • Educational Workshops

Footsteps provide educational workshops to schools around drug and alcohol awareness for children, young people, parents and staff.

  • Advocacy, mediation, and support at formal and informal meetings

Footsteps ensure all our clients have their voice heard by acting as an advocacy service.

M-PACT Programme

M-PACT is a whole family, multi-family, structured brief intervention. Its psychosocial, educational and systematic approach aims to improve the well-being of children and families affected by parental substance misuse. The programme supports families to address areas such as communication and coping strategies as well as educating family members on what addiction is and the impact it has. It is now one of the longest standing interventions for parental substance misuse in the UK and continues to be a unique and innovative programme, which puts children at its heart. 

The M-PACT programme is delivered under licence by facilitators who are trained by experts from Action on Addiction. Practitioner training is accredited by the University of Bath.

Outcomes of the M-PACT programme -

Statistical analysis shows that family members attending M-PACT programmes reported improvements in global family functioning, how family members viewed the severity of the problem, and how they coped with life's challenges. A social return on investment analysis, applied to five M-PACT sites, found that for every £1 spent, M-PACT can save up to £6.53 in the first year after a family has completed the programme.


Families engage well with the M-PACT programme, which can facilitate individual and family change in a range of areas including coping, understanding addiction, family functioning and family cohesion. There is evidence that M-PACT targets some of the individual and familial protective factors which are known to build resilience in families affected by difficulties such as parental substance misuse. Many of the families who have participated in M-PACT have been living with substance use problems for many years. In addition to suffering the effects of addiction, many of the families had also experienced other difficulties such as offending, violence, abuse and/or mental health difficulties. It is therefore noteworthy that this relatively brief intervention was able to produce significantly positive changes for many families, even those with multiple and complex needs.


  1. Educate and raise awareness of substance misuse and its impact on children and families
  2. Interrupt repeating patterns of harmful behaviour and reduce risks associated with them through a focus on coping strategies
  3. Explore individual and family beliefs and values, and improve communication within the family
  4. Strengthen protective and resilience factors including self-esteem
  5. Identify additional needs of family members and signpost to further he

Core M-PACT sessions

  1. Introductions
  2. Making sense of addiction (part 1)
  3. Making sense of addiction (part 2)
  4. My family
  5. Communicating with the people you care about
  6. Feelings and beliefs about self
  7. Family survival kit
  8. Endings

Referral Process

If you have a family you feel are in need of support from Footsteps please fill in the referral form below. We will confirm once we have received the referral. We aim to contact new referrals within 5 working days and complete an assessment with them within 10 working days.

Referral Form @ Families

Referral Form @ Adults Only


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