January 24, 2022
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Major child and family support services conference taking place in Kilkenny

Tusla, the child and family agency, is hosting a major conference in Kilkenny.

The two-day event, which began yesterday, is hearing expert contributions from leading practitioners in the field of early intervention and prevention services for children and families.

Tusla’s 7th National Prevention, Partnership, and Family Support (PPFS) Conference, is taking at Hotel Kilkenny. The theme of this year’s conference is “Enhancing Support through Partnership”. Tusla said the conference will explore “the role of inter-agency partnerships in achieving positive outcomes for children and families, and the evolution of prevention and early intervention through partnership as we move into a new decade”.

Tusla provides support services to assist all parents, children, and young people as part of its PPFS programme.

This programme aims to prevent problems experienced by families from getting worse, or from developing into a crisis. Almost 18,000 children around Ireland received a family support service in the first six months of 2019.

Speaking at the event, Tusla CEO Bernard Gloster said: “Prevention, Partnership and Family Support (PPFS) is an essential aspect of our services to children and families. This early intervention and prevention work is of critical importance as we face significant demand during a time of increased hardship for many Irish families.

“These services can only reach their full potential through collaborative and inter-agency partnerships across statutory bodies, the voluntary sector, communities, and the children and families themselves. We look forward to bringing Tusla staff and our key partners together to have a real discussion on how we can further develop and strengthen family support in Ireland, in order to provide the best possible outcomes for our service users.”

The event features a range of presentations, panel discussions and workshops. Speakers including representatives from Tusla, HIQA, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and the University of Limerick.

The international keynote speaker, Carey Oppenheim works for the Nuffield Foundation on a cross-cutting project on early childhood. She was the first Chief Executive of the Early Intervention Foundation, a charity and What Works Evidence Centre. She was special advisor to the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair between 2000 and 2005, specialising in child poverty, work-life balance, equalities, social security and employment programmes.

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured left to right:  Dr. Aisling Gillen – Regional Service Director West and national Lead for the Prevention, Partnership & Family Support; Professor Richard Layte, Trinty College Dublin; Catherine O’Donohoe – Regional Implementation Manger for Prevention, Partnership & Family Support, South; Amy Mulvihill – National Project Officer, PPFS; Mike Burns – Assistant Chief Officer Children’s services and Carey Oppenheim, Nuffield Foundation, Early Childhood Project and former CEO of the Early intervention Foundation.

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