What We Do
The Child & Family Service
The Child and Family Service works in partnership with families to support them to improve relationships and communication with the goal of meeting agreed outcomes for children and their families. The service supports parents with practical skills and strategies so that they can enjoy healthy and happy relationships with their children. Building positive relationships, both within families and between ourselves and families, is at the core of our work.
The CFS provides one to one and group supports to parents and carers, children, young people and extended family members. The Service consists of individual programmes, which are outlined below, but the CFS team work together and with other LSSC service areas to provide integrated supports to families. The CFS Team frequently refer clients, both parents and young people, to the Counselling and Psychotherapy Service and collaborate with the Early Years Team to support a number of children and their parents. During the first part of 2020, CFS staff began delivering some programmes in the Child and Family Centre, Galvone.
The Community Social Work and Family Support Service
The Community Social Work and Family Support Service consists of professionally qualified social workers and family support workers who work to support families to build stronger relationships, develop their parenting and communication skills and address a range of challenges that the family may be facing. These issues may include poverty, inadequate housing, acrimonious separations, education issues, domestic violence, addiction and other trauma related issues or simply a breakdown in family communication. The Community Social Workers and Family Support Workers maintain an active caseload and work closely with other services, externally, as well as those within LSSC to provide support to parents, carers and children. This work is done through home visits, centre-based work and phone contact. Targeted group interventions and workshops are also facilitated.
The Community Social Workers also act as LSSC’s Designated Liaison Person and Deputy Designated Liaison Person, and, in this role, they provide support across the organisation in ensuring that every staff members understand their role under Children First and that we work together as an organisation to ensure the safety of children.
The Teen Parent Support Programme
The Teen Parent Support Programme (TPSP) provides confidential support to young people who are pregnant or who are parents. Support is also available to the young person’s partner and members of their extended families.
TPSP Limerick is part of the National Teen Parents Support Programme. Support to parents is provided through the provision of one-to-one home visits and centre-based work; a range of financial and non-financial supports for the young parent to remain in education; and provision of group work programmes to support parents both in their parenting role and in their own personal development. These include a weekly parent and toddler group, the City Slickers Programme, the Mellow Bumps Ante-Natal Programme and other ante-natal supports.
The Community Mothers Programme
The Community Mothers Programme is a home visiting service for families with new babies and young children. The programme aims to encourage parents to enjoy participating more fully in their child’s life. Community Mothers visit parents in their home during the early years (generally up to the age of three) to offer and non-directive information on parenting, child development and local services and supports. Community Mothers support positive parent/child relationships.
Community Mothers also facilitate Baby/Toddler/ Parent Groups, weaning workshops, baby massage and baby reflexology programmes, Incredible Years Programmes and the Mellow Bumps Ante-Natal Programme. Supporting parents to access group work and develop natural support networks is a key part of the service.
The Relationships & Sexual Health Programme
The Relationships and Sexual Health Programme aims to increase parental capacity to communicate with their teenage children in the area of relationships and sexual health through the provision of one to one and group supports. The Programme also supports young people with additional life skills to support the existing Social Health and Personal Development Programme within their school or training centres and to incorporate communication skills, self-esteem and confidence-building skills to the area of relationships and sexual health.
The Programme provides a forum for parents, who had previously completed a Relationships and Sexual Health Parenting Programme, to meet and develop peer support networks and share their experiences regarding the parenting of their teenage children. It also links parents with other services for additional supports in the area of sexual health, if required.
The Traveller Health Advocacy Programme
The Traveller Health Advocacy Programme aims to improve the health status of Travellers in Limerick City.
The Family Advocacy Service
The Family Advocacy Service is a confidential and independent service for parents in Limerick who have children who are either in care or in the process of being taken in to the care of the State. The Service offers support to parents to continue positive involvement with their children while they are in care and assists them to fully participate in Child in Care reviews and child protection case conferences. The Family Advocacy Service provides one to one and group support through a monthly support group for parents of children in care.
The Family Welfare Conference Service
The Family Welfare Conferencing Service is a specialized service that supports family members to participate in the Family Welfare Conference process and plans for their children. It brings together as many family members as possible, along with the child where appropriate, to develop a family support plan in the best interests of the child. The Family Welfare Conference Coordinator meets each member of the family separately in advance of the FWC to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to express their views. This type of meeting assists the family in making a plan to help a child/young person within a family network to ensure that they are looked after and safe.
The Supervised Access Service
The Supervised Access Service supports children in care to have contact with their parents, siblings and other family members.
Specific Groupwork: A range of groupwork are facilitated through the above services including The Incredible Years Programme; The Start Right Programme; Parent & Toddler Groups; The Parent Summer Support Group; Ante Natal Classes at Clinics; Baby Massage Programmes; Baby Weaning Programmes; Sexual Health & Education Programmes; The City Slickers Programme; The Family Advocacy Support Group.