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AGENDA FOR MEETING. WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS. 2. CONTEXT AND PURPOSE OF THE PRACTICE SEMINARS. WHAT IS FAMILY SUPPORT “A DEFINITION”. 4. THEORIES BEHIND THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE / CASE STUDIES. 5. THE IMPORTANCE OF REFLECTIVE PRACTICE IN THE WORK.

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Agenda for meeting

AGENDA FOR MEETING

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS.

2. CONTEXT AND PURPOSE OF THE PRACTICE SEMINARS.

WHAT IS FAMILY SUPPORT “A DEFINITION”.

4. THEORIES BEHIND THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE/ CASE STUDIES.

5. THE IMPORTANCE OF REFLECTIVE PRACTICE IN THE WORK.

6. THE AGENDA FOR “CHILDREN’S SERVICES ” AND HOW THIS CAN BE LINKED WITH THE STRATEGIC PLANNING OF FAMILY RESOURCE CENTRES.

PLEASE NOTE: Information for this presentation is primarily taken from the Strategic Framework Document for Family Support written by Kieran McKeownfor the FRC Programme, the Agenda for Children’s Services and info supplied by NUIG.


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PURPOSE OF PRACTICE SEMINARS

1. To ensure that all Projects

understand the current developments

and implications of the move under

the Dept. of Children and Youth Affairs.

2. Opportunity to engage in a

discussion on the role of the FRC

Programme in Family Support.

3. Attempt to develop consistency

across the country in peoples

understanding of Family Support

Practice.

4. Give a basic introduction to the

background and theory behind

Family Support Practice and how it

links with Community Development.

5. An opportunity to share concerns

and understand the various

different levels of Family Support

Practice.

6. To develop a programme for future

training, development of policies or

identify additional supports required

by Projects to move through the

transition.

CAN to develop report based on info gathered at each Seminar and review to take place in

December.


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  • THESE PRACTICE SEMINARS ARE NOT ABOUT ASKING INDIVIDUIAL PROJECTS TO CHANGE THE WORK THAT THEY DO.

  • THEY ARE ABOUT HOW TO

  • MANAGE IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT .

  • THIS CAN HAPPEN THROUGH UNDERSTANDING

  • HOW YOUR WORK CAN BE RE-FRAMED TO FIT IN WITH:

  • The language and theory of Family Support Practice.

  • The Strategic Aims of the Dept. of Children and Youth Affairs

  • The National Children’s Strategy.


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RE-CAP ON CURRENT SITUATION / WHERE THE FRC PROGRAMME IS NOW BASED

The FSA and the National

Forum had to consider how best to help the FRC Programme survive in this changing environment

Change of Government brought about the development of new Departments

The FRC Programme was to be placed either in the Dept. of Community, Environment and Local Government, where Cohesion under the Partnership was inevitable, or into the Dept. of Children and Youth Affairs.

In 2010, in readiness for the change the Forum had already developed a Strategy and Position Paper on promoting the capacity of FRCs in supporting families

The FSA and Forum lobbied for the FRC Programme to come under the Dept. of Children and Youth as this was a safer bet for maintaining autonomy

  • To make a place for the Programme within the new Department as well as

  • “PROTECT THE INDEPENDENCE” of Projects the FSA had to take the initiative on:

  • Developing and getting adopted the FCRCP’s Strategic Framework Document (KeironMcKeown) which clarifies the position of Projects in relation to Family Support Practice;

  • Develop an external evaluation framework / outcomes focussed (in process);

  • Ensure that all Projects understood their role in Family Support Practice.

  • “WHICH IS WHY THIS PRACTICE SEMINAR IS TAKING PLACE”


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PRESENTATION NO 1:

Definition of Family Support Practice


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  • EXCERCISE

  • BRAINSTORM…….BY USING THE PENS AND YELLOW POST-ITS WRITE A SHORT SENTENCE ON WHAT YOU UNDERSTAND TO BE A DEFINITION OF:

  • The Family

  • Family Support Practice

  • ATTACH EACH POST-IT TO THE RELEVANT FLIP CHART SHEET ATTACHED TO THE WALL

  • FEEDBACK AND DISCUSSION


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A WORKING DEFINITION OF THE FAMILY

  • This broad definition from the Strategic Framework Document written for FRCs is based on a wider understanding of the family adopted by the United Nations and the European Convention of Human Rights……..

  • A Set of close personal relationships which connect people together , especially, but not exclusively parents and their children. These relationships may be based:

  • On social or biological ties;

  • On having / not having formal legal status;

  • In same household or across households;

  • Examples of families with a range of relationships could be:

  • Married couples and their children;

  • Life partners / cohabitees and their children;

  • Parents / guardians and their children;

  • Same sex couples and their children;

  • Siblings or grandparents or extended family members and children.


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A DEFINITION OF FAMILY SUPPORT

  • There are a number of definitions of Family Support, the following was developed by Pat Dolan of NUIG and used in the FRC National Forum’s Position Paper which is included in the Strategic Framework Document.

  • Family Support is both a style of work and set of activities that reinforce positive informal social networks through integrated programmes;

  • These programmes involve statutory, voluntary, community and private services and are delivered to families in their own homes / communities;

  • The focus of these programmes is on early intervention aiming to protect the health, well being and rights of children, young people and their families;

  • In particularly those who are vulnerable and at risk due to living in areas that experience multiple dis-advantage.

The work of FRCs is based on a “HOLISTIC / COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT” approach which fits in well with this definition


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BACK GROUND TO FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE

Just like Community Development, Family Support Practice has a long history and includes 24 pieces of national and inter-national legislation that has influenced the practice.

There are 7 key pieces that relate to the current circumstances and these are……..


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1. 1991 CHILDCARE ACT:

Replaced the 1908 Act. Better for children to grow up in their own families. Onus on HSE to provide a range of child care and family support services. Welfare of child paramount.

Connected to the setting up of the Community Development Projects (CDPs) in 1991 AND Family Resource Centres (FRCs) in 1995.

2. 1989 UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON RIGHTS OF THE CHILD:

Adopted in Ireland in 1992 / international recognition that children have a right to a range of civil, economic, cultural and political rights.

3. 1998 REPORT ON COMMISSION OF THE FAMILY:

State policy on Family Support, highlighting the need for preventative and supportive measures for families which would lead to the setting up of the Family Support Agency in 2003.

4. 1999 & 2011 CHILDRENS FIRST GUIDELINES:

National guidelines for the protection of children / defining family support practice.

5. 2003 FAMILY SUPPORTAGENCY ACT:

Established the FSA and officially separated the FRCs from the CDP Programme and establish the Family and Community Resource Centre Programme.

6. 2005 SET UP OF NATIONAL CHILDRENS OFFICE:

Improve the lives of children and implement the National Children’s Strategy and coherancein policy,this has become the Office of the Minister of Children and Youth Affairs where FRC’s are now placed.

7. 2007 THE AGENDA FOR CHILDREN’S SERVICES:

Core principle that the provision of health and social services be based on the child being supported in the family within the local community.


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FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE ALSO HAS 10 CORE PRINCIPLES

THESE PRINCIPLES ARE VERY CLEARLY LINKED TO THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES THAT FRC’S USE IN THEIR DAY TO DAY WORK


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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE

FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE PRINCIPLES

Collective Action &

Working in partnership

1. Working in Partnership / holistic approach.

2. Promotes the view that effective

interventions are those that strengthen

informal support networks.

3. Families can self refer / multi-

access referral paths can be created.

Participation

Equality, discrimination

and Social Inclusion

  • 4. Services aim to promote social inclusion

  • addressing issues of ethnicity, disability,

  • urban & rural etc.

  • Empowerment / human rights based approaches

    5. Clear focus on the wishes, feelings, safety

    and well being of children.

    6. Needs led and strives for the minimum

    intervention.

    7. Family Support Services reflects strength

    based perspective of families and children.

    Process and the task

    8. Involvement of service users and providers

    in planning, delivery and evaluation.

    9. Family Support creates an accessible and

    flexible environment based on needs.

    Social change and

    influencing policy

    10. Measures success through evaluation based

    on outcomes for service users, this supports

    the development of effective services.


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    ANY ADDITIONAL

    COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS


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    PRESENTATION NO 2:

    Theory behind the different levels of Family Support

    Case Studies


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    THERE ARE 5 KEY THEORIES UNDERPINNING INFORMAL FAMILY SUPPORT

    SOCIAL SUPPORT

    Core functions of the family

    ATTACHMENT

    Primary relationships in early childhood development

    SOCIAL ECOLOGY

    Families do not exist in a vacuum but in a community / neighbourhood

    SOCIAL CAPITAL

    Builds on capacity / acts as a resource

    CHILDREN AND FAMILY

    Stress and strain

    RESILIENCE

    Cope and adapt


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    • ALSO INFORMED BY:

    • Social Justice and Children’s rights

    • (Human and Family Rights perspective)

    • Reflective Practice

    • Evidence base

    • Best practice

    • Focus on outcomes


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    THEORY OF SOCIAL ECOLOGY / ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE

    • HIGHLIGHTS…….

    • The need to look beyond the family system;

    • The importance of context on the health and well

    • being of children and families;

    • Individual, family and wider community need

    • collective consideration;

    • Examining these factors in isolation is not

    • sufficient .


    There are four ecological systems framework

    THERE ARE FOUR ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS FRAMEWORK……..

    THESE ARE DIFFERENT LAYERS OF SYSTEMS THAT INTERACT WITH EACH OTHER

    (LIKE RUSSION DOLLS)

    Micro (minute)

    Meso (intermediate)

    Exo (outside)

    Macro (large)


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    The definitions are all based on assumptions that people rely on each other for basic needs;

    Social support can be defined as “behaviours that assist persons that are undergoing stressful life circumstances to cope with the circumstances they face” ;

    “Responsive acts of assists between human beings”

    Automatically assumed by most people;

    Proven area of Social Science;

    Enhancing social support is the aim of formal support services;

    THEORY OF SOCIAL SUPPORT


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    • QUALITIES OF SUPPORT

    • Durability

    • Reciprocity

    • Closeness

    • Admonishment

    • TYPES OF SUPPORT:

    • Concrete

    • Emotional

    • Advice

    • Esteem

    INFORMAL, SEMI-FORMAL AND FORMAL SOURCES

    PERCIEVED AND RECEIVED SUPPORT


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    TYPES OF SOCIAL SUPPORT……..

    CONCRETE & PRACTICAL:Where an offer to do or to provide is proffered.

    EMOTIONAL:Where concern and empathy are offered.

    INFORMATION & ADVICE:Where suggestions and advice are offered.

    ESTEEM:Where encouragement and belief in the recipient is provided.


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    THEORY OF SOCIAL CAPITAL

    REFERS TO…..

    The assets of daily living including good will between people;

    The more embedded a family is across the levels of the eco-system the greater will be their social capital;

    Accruing of benefits and capital from involvement with networks or other social structures;

    Social connections between people – based on principles of shared norms, trust and reciprocity.


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    FORMS OF SOCIAL CAPITOL ARE…….

    ECONOMIC

    PHYSICAL

    HUMAN & CULTURAL

    SOCIAL

    Linked to wider social networks and local informal / formal networks such as:

    Family; extended family; community and voluntary groups; clubs; work place; child minders; political parties; classmates etc..


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    FEATURES OF SOCIAL CAPITAL…….

    BONDING SOCIAL CAPITAL:Close ties and strong local trust “Getting by”

    BRIDGING SOCIAL CAPITAL:Weak ties with people who are not close

    “Getting ahead”

    Community based Family Support Aims to build up

    BONDING SOCIAL CAPITAL

    through local supportive networks.


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    Forming a close attachmensto a care giver is the most important early social relationship.

    Attachment Theory involves the study of early formative relationships and how these are key to the infant in forming attachments;

    The quality of these attachments informs emotional health and personal development.

    THEORY OF ATTACHMENT


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    • ATTACHMENT HELPS A CHILD TO………

    • Attain full intellectual potential, sort out what he / she perceives;

    • Think logically;

    • Develop conscience;

    • Become self reliant;

    • Cope with stress and frustration;

    • Handle fear and worry;

    • Develop future relationships and reduce jealousy.


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    MOST IMPORTANTLY ATTACHMENT THEORY PROVIDES AND UNDERSTANDING OF……….

    Why those who have suffered adverse relationships in the past go onto find relationships difficult in the future, with parents, peers, partners, children, neighbours and figures of authority.


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    THEORY OF RESILIANCE

    • RESILIANCE . . . . is a persons ability to withstand stress and to be positive, optomistic and stronger as a result of life experiences whether positive or negative.

    • There are three factors associated with resiliance which include:

    • Self esteem and confidence;

    • A belief in ones own ability to deal with change and adaptation;

    • Repertoire of problem solving skills.


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    • FACTORS WHICH HELP A PERSON TO BECOME RESILIENT ARE. . . .

    • Competent parenting (good enough);

    • Availability of a close social support network;

    • A positive educational experience;

    • A sense of worth;

    • Good relationships with pro-social adults and an ability to problem solve and make sense of what is happening.

    • RISK FACTORS INCLUDE ISSUES SUCH AS . . .

    • Poverty; poor educational opportunity; lack of access to interests / hobbies or leisure and poor parenting including potential of actual harm or abuse.


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    • WHAT HELPS FACILITATE RESILIANCE. . .

    • The impact of the community on well being and resilience has been the subject of a wide range of research which indicates that:

    • Communities have the capacity to improve local well being and to be considered resilient in themselves as actors responding to adversity;

    • Emphasis has been placed on the positive and beneficial outcomes from community participation with a strong association with civic engagement.


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    SOCIAL JUSTICE AND CHILDRENS RIGHTS

    • Families have a right to be supported in their efforts and children have a right to be supported within their family unit.

    • The issue of social justice and children’s rights are considered collectively.

    • UNCRC, 1989

    • The guiding principles of the Convention as set out in the NATIONAL CHILDREN’S STRATEGY are:

    • All children should be entitled to basic rights without discrimination;

    • The best interests of the child should be the primary concern of decision making;

    • Children should have a right to life, survival and development;

    • The views of children must be taken into account in matters effecting them.


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    • SOCIAL JUSTICE AND CHILDREN’S RIGHTS

    • Children’s rights and needs are inherently intertwined;

    • Rights discourse can provide an important framework to discuss needs while addressing ideas of self respect and dignity;

    • Linking rights to needs~ children’s rights are grounded in the day to day practice of service delivery, and offer a benchmark from which to plan, deliver and evaluate services.


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    A FRAMEWORK FOR

    THE DELIVERY OF FAMILY SUPPORT


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    Framework for Support Services (HARDIKER 1991)

    In need of specialist care

    LEVEL 4

    Established difficulties and serious risk

    LEVEL 3

    Targeted services

    Those with early difficulties and risk

    LEVEL 2

    All children and young people

    Universally available services

    LEVEL 1


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    CATAGORIES OF SUPPORT LINKED TO THE STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK DOCUMENT

    LEVELS OF NEED

    CATAGORIES

    LEVEL 4:

    Supports and rehabilitation for children

    and families with established difficulties

    and at serious risk

    PROTECTIVE

    COMPENSATORY

    DEVELOPMENTAL

    LEVEL 3:

    Services for children and families

    targeting early difficulties and at

    significant risk

    LEVEL 2:

    Support for children and families in need.

    LEVEL 1:

    Universally available services


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    SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

    You will be given a case study for each small group.

    You are being asked to consider the level of intervention that is required.

    FEEDBACK / DISCUSSION

    LUNCH


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    PRESENTATION NO 3

    The importance of Reflective Practice

    in the work


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    WHY TAKE THE TIME TO REFLECT ON PRACTICE

    Gives staff time to reflect on stresses and demands

    of the work.

    Creates a supportive and safe environment in which to

    develop practice.

    3. Sharing of ideas, solutions and possibilities for

    resolving problems.

    4. Builds the confidence and skills of staff.

    5. Highlights problems arising in the work, opportunity to explore referral to other services that may need to be brought in.

    6. Ensures and facilitates accountability / protects staff.

    7. Can be undertaken on a one to one basis or in staff

    team meetings.


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    WHAT ARE WE REFLECTING ON…..

    PERSON OR FAMILY IN NEED / THE ISSUES PRESENTED

    What you know

    (The theory)

    What you do

    (The skills & practice)

    How you do it

    (The attitude and values)

    NEEDS MET / OUTCOMES ACHIEVED


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    LOOK AT CASE STUDIES AGAIN AND DISCUSS:

    What was the knowledge / theory required by the staff member to deal with the issue ?

    What skills / practice were used and what were the actions implemented ?

    What was the attitude / values of the staff member ?

    (Feedback)


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    ( INFORMATION FROM KIERION McKEOWN’S STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR FAMILY SUPPORT )

    KNOWLEDGE /

    THEORY

    SKILLS /

    PRACTICE

    ATTITUDES /

    VALUES

    • Definition of the familyand why families are important;

    • What influences family well being and the different levels of family support;

    • Essence of a helping relationship and how to operate from a community development approach;

    • Needs of families in the area;

    • What outcomes the FRC is trying to achieve;

    • What actions and programmes will help reach those outcomes;

    • How to undertake strategic planning, evaluation and monitoring;

    • Any legal issues / policies required.

    • How to work effectively as a team;

    • How to link needs, actions and outcomes into logic framework (Workplans);

    • How to facilitate local peoples involvement in developing the strategy

    • (consultation);

    • How to communicate well and build commitment for implementing the Workplan;

    • Prioritising and setting realistic time frames;

    • How to engage and work with external agencies.

    • Clear self awareness of thoughts, feelings and prejudices;

    • Empathetic understanding;

    • Commitment to diversity, equality and human rights;

    • Respecting boundaries;

    • Acting in a way that is positive, practical, pragmatic and has the best outcomes;

    • Develop an empowering process that leads to positive outcomes;

    • Openness to working in collaboration with others;

    • Taking responsibility for learning through reflective practice.


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    POSSIBLE QUESTIONS THAT CAN BE USED IN SUPERVISION OR TEAM MEETINGS THAT RELATE TO FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE

    • What are your strengths in terms of working with individuals, families and communities ? What do you see as your weaknesses or areas for growth;

    • What do you bring to your role in supporting individuals, families and the community from your training / life experience. How do these

    • help / hinder you in your work;

    • What does this work mean to you personally, what are the things about it that you connect to meaningfully;

    • What are the aspects that challenge you, or worry you in the work;

    • How do you deal with stresses or challenges that arise in supporting individuals, families or the community;

    • What do you need in your role to do the best work you can do, and to grow in your role, how can supervision meet some of these needs;


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    BRIEF OPEN DISCUSSION

    Is this the same or different in terms of the

    a). Knowledge, skills and values that you already work from, and

    b). The reflective practice you do

    If so, what do you notice are the similarities and differences ?

    PLEASE NOTE:

    Future external evaluation systems currently being developed by KieronMcKeown may define how we carry out reflective practice as this will be more outcomes based.

    Also, more info on reflective practice also in the Agenda for Childrens Services


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    PRESENTATION NO 4

    Being aware of and developing links with the Agenda for Children’s Services


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    WHY SHOULD WE ?

    The Childrens’s Services Strategy is now under the care of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and has huge influence. This is the same Department that the Community and Family Resource Centre Programme has moved to.

    The Agenda for Children’s Services is to develop a

    WHOLE CHILD / WHOLE SYSTEM APPROACH

    to promoting better outcomes for children through co-operative and collaborative working relationships and services.

    FRCs have a role to play in this.

    BETTER OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN

    Enhancing the status and improving the quality of children’s lives by building

    strong and healthy families and communities

    through the process of….

    EARLY

    INTERVENTION

    COMMUNITY

    SERVICE

    PROVISION

    PROTECTION

    PREVENTION

    OUT-OF-HOME

    CARE


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    THR AGENDA FOR CHILDRENS SERVICES HAS A POLICY DOCUMENT WHICH OUTLINES THE FOLLOWING:

    1. AIMS AND OBJECTIVE

    2. PROMOTING GOOD OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

    3. SERVICE CHARACTARISTICS NEEDED TO ACHIEVE GOOD OUTCOMES INCLUDING:

    3.1 Connecting Services with family and Community Strengths;

    3.2 Ensuring quality services;

    3.3 Opening access to services;

    3.4 Delivering integrated services;

    3.5 Planning, monitoring and evaluating Services.

    4. GETTING THERE TOGETHER

    4.1 Circles of responsibility;

    4.2 Shared style of working

    Connects with reflective practice

    Document can be downloaded from www.omc.gov.ie


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    THERE ARE 7 NATIONAL OUTCOMES IN THE STRATEGY FOR CHILDRENS SERVICES

    (To be reduced to 5)

    HEALTHY BOTH PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY;

    SUPPORTED IN ACTIVE LEARNING;

    SAFE FROM ACCIDENTAL OR INTENTIONAL HARM;

    4. ECONOMICALLY SECURE;

    5. SECURE IN TH EIMMEDIATE AND WIDER PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT;

    6. PART OF POSITIVE NETWORKS OF FAMILY, FRIENDS, NEIGHBOURS AND THE COMMUNITY;

    7. INCLUDED AND PARTICIPATING IN SOCIETY.

    PROGAMME ACTIVITIES

    Establishing activities that are believed to be helpful to those who participate. Usually targeted at groups / individuals and are evidence based.

    DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIES

    Are fexible, needs based, provides support at individual or community level and supports positive community involvement helping children and parents to feel more attached to the area.

    TWO

    CATAGORIES

    OF ACTIONS


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    5 CHARACTERISTS NEEDED TO ACHIEVE

    GOOD OUTCOMES

    IN ORDER TO PROMOTE THE 7 NATIONAL OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN, SERVICES NEED TO STRIVE TO ACHIEVE 5 “ESSENTIAL CHARACHTERSISTICS”

    THESE ARE:

    Connecting with family and community strengths.

    (Directly related to building connections with FRCs)

    2. Ensuring quality of service.

    Opening access to services.

    (Potential to deliver Services through FRCs)

    4. Delivering integrated services.

    (Again promotes the idea of working together WITH FRCs)

    Planning, monitoring and evaluating services.

    (Connects in with external evaluation that will be developed between Kieran McKeown and FRCs)


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    • IT WOULD THEREFORE BE STRATEGIC IF FRCs , WHILST MAINTAINING THEIR INDIVIDUAL AIMS AND WORK, BEGAN THE PROCESS OF LINKING THEIR STRATEGIC AIMS TO THE RELEVANT 7 OUTCOMES OF THE NATIONAL CHILDRENS STRATEGY.

    • THIS CAN HAPPEN THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW WORKPLANS AND WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE RSA.

    • AS THE NEW DEPARTMENT DEVELOPS AND IT COMES TO DECIDING THE ROLE AND APPROPRIATE PLACE OF FRCs IN THE

    • FAMILY SUPPORT WITHIN THE NEW DEPARTMENT:

    • FRCs will be familiar with the background, ethos and language of current family support practice;

    • Be clear about the levels of family support that they can offer;

    • Be prepared for possible changes that may come down the line.

    • ANY QUESTIONS / CLARIFICATIONS


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    Key web site addresses and documents to read:

    STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR FAMILY SUPPORT

    BY KIERON McKEOWN

    www.fsa.ie

    THE AGENDA FOR CHILDRENS SERVICES / A POLICY HANDBOOK

    www.omc.gov.ie


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    FILL IN EVALUATION SHEET

    From your participation today….

    1. What is one thing that has changed in your understanding of Family Support Practice ?

    2. What are this issues / concerns that this raises for you or your Project ?

    3. What are the future support needs for you or your Project in the area of Family Support Practice ?

    CLOSING COMMENTS


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