The Prevention Partnership Family Support (PPFS) Programme is a Túsla-led programme which aims to engage with and support families around family support issues at Prevention or Early Intervention levels, in partnership with relevant community-based services.
Túsla is committed to providing high quality services to children and families at the earliest opportunity across all levels of need. Providing help to children and families early in the stage of a difficulty can prevent situations getting worse. Working in partnership is a very important aspect of this work. Túsla aims to work closely with families, other agencies and professionals so that we can respond quickly to the needs of children. Early identification and provision of help at community level is in children’s best interests.
Family Support is delivered through community-based programmes and services. The main focus of these Family Support services is on Early Intervention, aiming to promote and protect the health, well-being and rights of all children, young people and their families. Particular attention is given to those who are vulnerable or at risk. Specialist services provide support for those families affected by domestic violence or child abuse. Family Support services are generally provided to families in their own homes and communities.
Túsla has developed the Meitheal approach to help children and families where they may need the support of more than one service. Meitheal is an old Irish term that describes how people come together to assist with crops or tasks. In this context, Meitheal is a Túsla National Practice Model to ensure that the needs and strengths of children and families are effectively identified, understood and responded to in a timely way. The aim of Meitheal is to ensure that children and families receive support and help in an integrated and coordinated way that is easily accessible to them. Through the Meitheal model, practitioners in different agencies communicate and work together to bring together a range of expertise, knowledge and skills to meet the needs of the child and family within their community. The family’s consent to participate is a key condition for a Meitheal intervention to proceed.
Child and Family Support Networks (CFSNs)
Local CFSNs consist of all services that play a role in the lives of children and families in a given geographical area. This includes local statutory children and families service providers (e.g. psychology, public health nurses, social work, justice, education and welfare) and local voluntary and community children and families services.
The Child and Family Support Network Coordinator supports the development of the Child and Family Support Networks and oversees the Meitheal process.
Other strands of Prevention Partnership & Family Support
- Participation: Supporting the participation of children and young people in decisions that affect them.
- Parenting: Supporting parents in developing their parenting skills. Such supports include parenting programmes, the Túsla Parenting 24/7 website and the work of the Parenting Support Champions in promoting key parenting messages at local level.
Target Group: Parents, children and young people, aged 0 – 17 years
Referral for Meitheal:
- Referral by families by direct contact with the Child & Family Support Network Coordinator
- Referrals by professionals only with parents’ consent. A Meitheal Request form must be completed with the parents.
Julie Ryan, Senior Child & Family Support Network Coordinator
Address: Tusla Child and Family Agency, Yellow House, St. Luke’s Hospital, Western Road, Clonmel. Co. Tipperary
Yvonne Fitzsimons, Senior Child & Family Support Network Coordinator
Address: Prevention Partnership and Family Support Department, Tusla, North Tipperary, Civic Offices, Nenagh. Co. Tipperary
Tel. (067) 46629