Tusla launches National Child and Family Support Week to increase awareness of Tusla family support services

Tusla-Child and Family Agency has launched its first ever national promotional drive to highlight the range of services it provides as part of its Prevention, Partnership and Family Support(PPFS) programme.

Tusla National Child and Family Support Week will feature special public events in all counties nationwide, and will be backed up by a national and regional advertising campaign across radio, press, digital and outdoor media platforms.

Tusla National Child and Family Support Week aims to create widespread public awareness of Tusla’s PPFS programme, leading to increased engagement with its services by families, parents and children.

There are now almost 863,000 families with children in Ireland and some 1.68 million children in families in Ireland, according to Census 2016. Tusla provides extensive support services to assist all parents, children, and young people as part of its PPFS programme. This programme aims to stop problems experienced by families from getting worse, or from developing into a crisis.

Recent studies by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway found that, with regard to help-seeking for a parenting or family problem, personal support networks – family and friends - were the main source of support for the public. Members of the public turned to their local GP primarily if they could not manage a parent or family problem, while increasing numbers of people are asking a teacher for assistance in this area. The findings also suggested that both the public and the media do not clearly differentiate the concept of family support from child protection, and children in care. However, there has been a significant increase in knowledge of Tusla services overall, among the public, in recent years.

Information packs on the PPFS programme have been sent by Tusla to every school principal in the country. Tusla will also have a stand at next week’s National Ploughing Championships in Co Offaly, and more information on all regional events taking place during Tusla National Child and Family Support Week can be found on childandfamilysupport.ie.

At the launch of Tusla National Child and Family Support Week at St Kevin’s Family Resource Centre in Tallaght, clinical psychologist David Coleman stated: “I’ve been working in clinical practice with children, teenagers and their families for over 20 years, and have consistently seen that preventative help for parents and children is always better than having to respond in a crisis. I’ve been jointly involved with Tusla services with some of my clients over the years, and I’ve seen, first hand, the high level of support that Tusla and the Family Resource Centre network can offer. If it ‘takes a village to raise a child’, then Tusla can help families to connect in with their ‘village’, accessing those vital community and parenting supports.”

Fred McBride Chief Executive of Tusla said: "Tusla is not just a child protection agency. It has an expanded child and family support role with a spectrum of specialist services. Tusla is a cornerstone in supporting families within their communities. If a child or family needs support, Tusla is there to help. Our PPFS programme seeks to work with families at an early stage to resolve problems, to prevent harm, and to improve outcomes for children, young people and families. And we work collaboratively with our partner organisations to strengthen families and communities.”

Members of the public wishing to contact Tusla during Tusla National Child and Family Support Week can visit Tusla.ie for more details, email family.support@tusla.ie or follow #childandfamilyweek on Tusla’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channels.