Call for Government to extend funding for family support service
ESTABLISHING a dedicated family support service in Lucan will enable Barnardos to reach more families who need help and support directly, with calls being made for Government to extend the commitment of funding.
Barnardos Lucan Family Support Service was set up as a satellite initiative out of a Ballyfermot location and has been operating off temporary funding provided by Tusla, the child and family agency.
An officially registered charity, Barnardos is now calling on the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to put long-term funding in place.
According to the charity, a long-term funding commitment will fund a permanent family support service in the Lucan community, allowing families to access support in their own area.
An external evaluation which was carried out by Quality Matters, interviewed 18 participants and found that the service “improved the quality of family life” and communication between parent and child.
With rapid population growth in the Lucan area due to increased residential development, Barnardos believe the need for a dedicated service is of utmost importance.
“The findings of the evaluation shows the positive impact of Barnardos Lucan Family Support Service,” says Patricia Maguire, Barnardos Project Leader.
“However, existing and future challenges exist around lack of permanent funding, increasing rate of social work referrals and rising demand for services.
“With additional and more secure resources, Barnardos could reach more families living in Lucan who need help and support.
“Barnardos would like families living in the Lucan area to be able to directly access support from a project based in their own community.”
Among the children interviewed in the evaluation, some reported that they “like having a place to freely talk” knowing that there is no judgement.
Findings – presented at a coffee morning in Adamstown Community Centre on September 23 – from social workers also reported that there had been direct benefits in terms of “school attendance, quality of family relationship, children’s presentation and parents having more confidence in their parenting role”.
Since its establishment, the Barnardos Lucan Family Support Service has catered for 75 individuals and 25 families.