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‘PARENT’S IN PARTNERSHIP’ Carol Cuffe Disability Manager

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‘PARENT’S IN PARTNERSHIP’ Carol Cuffe Disability Manager Kildare West Wicklow. Purpose and Focus. “To work alongside families, to develop a vision of a full and inclusive life for their child and help them source the supports needed to realise this vision.”.

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Presentation Transcript

Carol Cuffe

Disability Manager

Kildare West Wicklow

purpose and focus
Purpose and Focus

“To work alongside families, to develop a vision of a full and inclusive life for their child and help them source the supports needed to realise this vision.”

guiding principles
Guiding Principles
  • Respond as flexibly and helpfully to families as possible
  • Ensure the resources within the team are carefully and efficiently deployed to capture the best balance between equity and quality
  • Work towards empowering families to facilitate them supporting each other
guiding principles contd
Guiding Principles contd..
  • Work in partnership with the child and family
  • Co-ordinate the service so as to ensure ease of access and speed of response for each family
  • Be guided by current and emerging evidence on best practice
Best practice recognises that the family is the primary and most essential resource for the child with developmental delay and that its (i.e. the team’s) role is complementary and secondary to that of the family.
Family- centred practices recognise that families are integral to the lives of their children and that families are responsible for meeting the needs of their children but may need support in doing this. Family centred early intervention services aim to maximise the family’s capacity to meet their child’s needs.
service model
Service Model
  • Many disciplines are involved in service delivery
  • Collaboration and consensus in decision making
  • Families are integral members of the team, involved in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of supports.
  • Team members commit to work together across disciplines to implement a child’s individualised plan
The primary aim of the team is to support the family to mobilise its internal resources to support the development of their child and his/her inclusion within their neighbourhood and community.
the team
The Team

“A team approach to early intervention, has long been viewed as best practise”

Occupational Therapist


Social Worker

Area Medical Officer

Clinical Psychologist


Speech-Language Therapist

Public Health Nurse

Early Years Support Worker

Intervention is more effective when information, support, and strategies for effectively interacting with the child with a disability are available to significant people in the child’s life.
  • More involvement of parents in the program leads to better outcomes for children
parents in partnership programme
“Parents in Partnership Programme”
  • Different training and information sessions will be relevant at different times of the child’s development
  • Information and support will be provided on an ongoing basis
  • A team member will provide a link between the new information and implementing it into the home situation
  • “Parents in partnership” sessions are a critical part of effective intervention and attendance is essential. Where possible both parents should attend.
  • Every effort is made to deliver these sessions at a time that will suit the group.
parent in partnership programme sessions
Parent in Partnership Programme Sessions
  • Introduction to the Service
  • Making the Most of the parent child relationship
  • Hanen Total Communication Programme
  • Sleep-
  • Fostering Independence
  • What Next – Preparing for the future
  • Lamh


  • The development of Parents in Partnership sessions are based on the needs as identified by parents.
  • Parent satisfaction surveys carried out after each session.
  • A key outcome is that parents like to meet other parents in informal settings and enjoy small group discussions and sharing of experiences.
recent feedback from parents
Recent Feedback From Parents
  • ‘Great to chat to parents with similar concerns’
  • ‘Module was very interactive – a practical approach to everyday issues’
  • ‘Thanks for the time it was much appreciated’
  • ‘I had thought about not coming tonight but now I’m glad I made the effort’
  • ‘Open discussions, notes on board, honesty, good to hear other peoples stories’
  • 10 years ago – very angry parents
  • Review commenced in 2001- highlighted very fragmented services.
  • Recommended services worked better together and with families.
  • Further review 2007 – result current service model.
  • Better use of resources
  • Increased parent satisfaction
  • No internal waiting lists
  • Less involvement with families for DM
  • Frequency of contact
  • Fewer children in special preschools
  • Focus on preventative in prep for school
  • Moving from Early Service to 5-18yrs
  • School is a major milestone
  • Department of Education & Skills V’s Department of Health & Children
  • Requires an increased level of flexibility and commitment from staff
  • What does the future hold?
  • Progressing Disabilities 0-18yrs
  • How do we protect this model given the current climate?
‘What Really matters is what happens to children in their daily lives, on a regular basis and over an extended period of time’

Urie Bronfenbrenner

  • Briggs, M. (1997). Building Early Intervention Teams: Working together for children and families. Gaithersburg, Maryland: Aspen.
  • Salisbury, C. (1992). Parents as Team Members. In B. Rainforth, J. York & C. MacDonald (Eds.), Collaborative Teams for Students with Severe Disabilities (pp 43-66). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
  • Shelden, M. & Rush, D. (). Practitioner as coach: Our role in early intervention. American Association for Home- Based Early Interventionist News Exchange, 9(3), 7-10.
  • Shonkoff, J., & Meisels, S. (2000). Handbook of Early Childhood Intervention. 2nd Ed. USA: Cambridge University Press.