How We Work

TCA provides a service to anyone who is seeking information and advice about alcohol, or who is worried about their own or someone
else’s drinking. Our clients come from all walks of life and contact us for many reasons.

They may be:
  • Men or women who are worried about their partner’s or children’s drinking.
  • Children who are worried about their parent’s drinking.
  • Children who themselves abuse alcohol.
  • Drinkers starting to drink too much and beginning to experience problems.
  • Heavy drinkers worried that they are becoming alcohol-dependent.
  • People with severe alcohol problems who want to do something about it.
TCA provides information and guidance on the problems caused by alcohol misuse by:
  • Addressing public meetings.
  • Providing alcohol education and awareness sessions.
  • Participating in public debates on alcohol.
  • Helping commerce and industry to design policies on alcohol.
  • Designing and presenting workshops and training sessions.

TCA treats each person who attends our agency for advice and counselling as an individual and does not seek to persuade anyone to accept a particular view of alcohol problems. Instead, we listen to our clients, help them to understand the causes of the problems and to identify appropriate individual solutions.


TCA has always been a recovery focussed organisation. Our work is based on the needs of individual clients who come to our services for support where they are affected by their own or another's substance issues. We work with the belief that everyone is capable of recovery and individuals’ recovery journey will be different.

We believe that an individual’s needs and aspirations should be placed at the centre of our work. Recovery is about individuals being able to move on from their own or another's problem substance use, improving their personal strengths and abilities to help them live fuller lives.

Focus on Alcohol

Each of the three Local Authorities that work with TCA also run a ‘Focus on Alcohol’ which is a derivative of the Focus on Alcohol project that was started in Angus in 2006. The aim of the Focus on Alcohol is to bring together all of the partners involved in managing the consequences of alcohol misuse, co-ordinate activity and ensure that effective plans are put in place to tackle problems. The Angus project has been evaluated on several occasions and the methodology stands scrutiny in terms of its robustness, evidence base and the real difference that it makes.

TCA are represented in all three areas and there is a significant opportunity for TCA to assist in co-ordination between the three local authorities and regional partners.


These obligations are the basis on which the Agency is contracted to provide a service to our funders. The main contract is held within the Service Agreement negotiated with Tayside Health Board and local authorities. Within the Service Agreement, there are Standards to which we are obliged to adhere so that we deliver a service compatible with the requirements of Alcohol Focus Scotland.


  1. Clients come to TCA to receive a specific service. We are under contract from our funders to maintain the standards and availability of that service.
  2. Counselling Service Standards are the standards of practice and ethics by which we are bound and for which we are answerable to the Board.
  3. The Standards have been adopted to show respect to, and meet the expectations of, our clients. ‘Individuals are the guardians of the standards of their practice’ in their relations with colleagues and, most importantly, with clients. So that these Standards are acknowledged and maintained, the principles involved need to be stated. The Standards are also for the information of clients and other interested parties.
  4. The Standards, Policies and Procedures are under constant evaluation and revision by the Agency through a process of internal consultation and representation.
  5. Any failure to maintain the Policies and Procedures is a disciplinary matter and will be referred in the first instance to the Adult Services Co-ordinator and/or the Children’s Services Co-ordinator who will take the necessary action.