Press Release

Minister for Children, Mary Hanafin TD, launches Parents Plus, Families and Adolescents Programme

Ms Mary Hanafin TD, Minister for Children made the opening address today at the launch of the “Parents Plus Families and Adolescents Programmes”, organised by the Department of Child and Family Psychiatry at the Mater Hospital, Dublin on Thursday 25 January, 2001.

“Learning to cope with life is vital to the well-being of every family. Modern society places a lot of stress on parents and families and in many instances they are unable to cope. When this occurs they should feel that they can seek assistance without fear of being stigmatised or embarrassed,” the Minister said. “In developing these programmes, the Department of Child and Family Psychiatry has provided a valuable opportunity for us to learn about the relationships which exist between children, adolescents and their parents and how these relationships can impact on the lives of young people. It also provides us all with a better understanding of the effects of preventing and coping with difficult situations.”

The Minister also spoke of the child care and family support initiatives which have been developed by the health boards with support from the Department of Health and Children. These include pre-school services, parenting courses, community mothers programme, family and adolescent resource centres, support work with families experiencing difficulties, and child psychiatric and psychology services amongst others.

The Minister went on to say that “The significant development of child care services which is taking place at present will promote the welfare of children, especially children with behavioural problems.” The development of a comprehensive child and adolescent psychiatric service has been identified as a priority by the Department of Health and Children. Minister Hanafin stated that an additional £3.225m has been made available in 2001 to further developments in child and adolescent psychiatry services.

The ‘Parents Plus Programmes’ are comprehensive video-based parenting courses for managing and solving discipline problems in children and teenagers. The programmes are based on extensive experience of facilitating parent training courses in a variety of settings and they deliver a firm foundation for practice in the management of children and adolescents.