Press Release

Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Children launches ‘A guide to what works in family support services for vulnerable families’

Ms Mary Hanafin TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for Children today (13th October 2000) launched ‘A guide to what works in family support services for vulnerable families’ which was published by the Department of Health and Children as part of the Springboard Initiative. Springboard is a community-based early intervention initiative. It is specifically focused on supporting families with children who are at risk of going into care, dropping out of school or getting into trouble with the law. A key element of Springboard is its co-ordinated approach to supporting families in the community, involving relevant state agencies, the voluntary sector and importantly the local community.

The Minister reiterated her commitment to prevention and early intervention services. She said ‘Children of families who experience social exclusion are increasingly subjected to substance abuse and various forms of anti-social behaviour. Too often, we become involved with these children in crisis situations. In the long-term, the most effective approach is to build on the prevention and early intervention services so that these children can be identified early, and a range of family supports provided so that emerging problems are tackled before they escalate’.

The main aim of ‘A guide to what works in family support services for vulnerable families’ is to ensure that everyone involved in the provision of family support services is fully apprised about the ways of working with vulnerable families which, as a result of systematic research whether in Ireland or elsewhere, have been shown to be effective.

Download the report here