Press Release

O´Malley launches National Home Sharing Network in Galway

Mr Tim O´Malley TD, Minister of State in the Department of Health and Children, today (19 June 2003) launched the National Home Sharing Network in Galway.

The National Home Sharing Network was established with a view to agencies adopting a more collaborative approach in the area of Family Based Respite Care. The Network is an inter-agency endeavour, which aims to develop good practice, provide support to carers, share information and to raise awareness about this specific type of respite provision.

“By and large, families who have a child with a learning disability do a marvellous job in responding to the needs of their child. The level of love, care and encouragement they give their children is often striking. However caring can be demanding and at times overwhelmingly so,” said Minister O´Malley.

The provision of respite care has been found to reduce stress, strain and burnout in families thus providing a valuable means of enhancing the families´ coping resources. The National Home Sharing Network strives to work alongside parents and values their participation.

Family based respite provides a quality and cost effective service which needs to be elevated from its existing status as an appendix to mainstream respite services. In order for this type of respite services to be offered as a meaningful choice to families it needs to be given recognition as an equally important respite alternative.

“I would also like to acknowledge the energy and vision within services, where staff are finding creative and innovative ways to develop and enhance this type of respite provision which is clearly evident in the excellent co-operation that has taken place to establish the National Home Sharing Network,” concluded the Minister.