Strengthening Families designed to build skills and increase resilience

By Mary Dennehy

THIS year marks the 10th anniversary of the Strengthening Families Programme in Tallaght, with more than 105 families who were in need of extra supports participating in the community-based initiative since 2008.

Having built a reputation as one of the “most powerful” family programmes nationwide, Strengthening Families involves parents, teenagers and children and supports them to work together for better outcomes.

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Aidan, Donna (at the back), Rachid, AJ and Carmel took part in the programme

Funded by the Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, Le Cheile Mentoring Programme and, more recently, Tusla, the free programme will this year run from September 18 to December 18 in the Jobstown Community Centre – with services and families invited to get in touch.

According to John Fitzgerald, the drug education and prevention officer with Foroige Tallaght: “[The programme] is designed to build skills and increase resilience in families and reduce risk factors, particularly for substance misuse, depression, violence and aggression.

“Families who are in need of extra supports are referred to the programme and work with group leaders from services all over Tallaght - including Foroige, Barnardos Lorien Project, JADD, several Tallaght schools, Tusla, CARP and Killinarden Family Resource Centre.

“Services can refer families and families can also self-refer.”

Powerful family programme

He added: “It has built a reputation for being one of the most powerful family programmes in Ireland and involves not just parents or children alone, but the entire family working together on the same themes and issues.

“In a recent evaluation of the programme, both young people and parents highlighted that taking part in Strengthening Families positively benefited their relationships with each other.

“Parents shared that they became more consistent as parents, learned to interact more positively with their children and saw the value of spending quality time together, while young people shared that their relationships with their parents improved and they had a greater awareness of the impact of their behaviour.”

Strengthening Families, which is open to families in Tallaght and Whitechurch, will run from September 18 to December 14 in Jobstown Community Centre.

For further information contact programme co-ordinator Suzanne Lindsay on 086 7969726 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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