Haylee Dreeling Holohan (7) during the information afternoon for Tusla at City Hall in Kilkenny PICTURE: PAT MOORE
Balloons and happy faces gathered under the cover of Kilkenny's Tholsel, last Thursday, to launch Tusla's first ever national promotional drive to highlight the range of services it provides.
Tusla - Child and Family Agency held the launch to showcase the supports it can offer as part of its Prevention, Partnership and Family Support (PPFS) programme.
Durinng National Child and Family Support Week special public events across Kilkenny will be backed up by a national and regional advertising campaigns.
Robert Pikurs (10) and Kai Balster (10) during the information afternoon for Tusla at City Hall
There are almost 863,000 families with children in Ireland and some 1.68 million children in those families, according to Census 2016.
Tusla provides support services to 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.
Tusla National Child and Family Support Week aims to create widespread public awareness of Tusla’s high-quality PPFS programme, leading to increased engagement with its services by families, parents and children.
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, family and friends were the main source of support for the public.
Members of the public turned to their GP if they could not manage a parent or family problem, while increasing numbers of people are asking a teacher for assistance.
Last Thursday a fun event at The Tholsel on High Street, for parents, young people and children allowed everyone to meet Tusla staff and other services that work together in Kilkenny to support families.
As well as the information there was a draw for a luxury hamper (sponsored by Caulfield’s Supervalu, Loughboy), children’s entertainment, music by and promotional goodies.
There is also a stand in the Community Care, James Green, Kilkenny, for the week with information on support services.
Naomi Collins, Emily Murtagh and Helen Murphy during the information afternoon for Tusla
Speaking ahead of the Tusla event, 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.”
Senior PPFS manager Carlow/ Kilkenny and South Tipperary Joan Dunne said: “We know that family and friends are important to parent and young people and are usually the first people they will go to when they need advice, information or support. But if family or friends can’t give the type of help needed, there are agencies in local communities with trained staff who can help. These agencies included local youth services, family support centres, education and welfare services, Tusla child and family services, early years’ services, schools, Gardai and JLO services.”