Learn more about the mission and impact of the Parents Plus Programmes in community, education and health settings, from our introductory video. We have also developed a further two programmes since this video was produced – the Special Needs Programme and the Healthy Families Programme.
Parents Plus is an Irish charity that develops evidence-based parenting and mental health programme trainings for professionals working across community, education, disability, health and youth sectors.. Our mission is to improve the well-being of children and families by empowering professionals to deliver our suite of evidence-based programmes in their services and local communities so families can avail of proven and tailored programmes at their point of need.
We have developed eight flagship programmes, in partnership with services supporting families and parents and children living in Ireland. We are committed to researching outcomes and developing effective programmes focused on empowering children and parents to achieve their potential. Furthermore, our trainings are focused on encouraging those working with families, to achieve the highest standards of excellence. You can read more about our evidence-based programmes here.
Parents Plus actively responds to the needs of families in our communities. In 2020 we launch our Special Needs Programme, for parents of adolescents with an intellectual disability. This programme is the first of its kind internationally and was developed as a response to the significant challenges that parents of adolescents with an intellectual disability can face.
To learn more about our suite of professional programmes feel free to download our programme brochure below
Parents Plus mission is to improve the well-being of children and families by empowering professionals to deliver our evidence-based mental health and parenting programmes in their services.
Parents Plus provides an evidence-based service. We are committed to researching outcomes and developing effective programmes for services, as well as encouraging facilitators to continually evaluate their practice to ensure their groups meet their families’ needs.
Parents Plus encourages collaborative practice. We working closely with services and families to ensure the programmes meet their goals and to ensure their experience and knowledge is central to the content of the materials.
Parents Plus believes in empowering the professionals and families we work with. Our programmes are focused on encouraging children and parents to achieve their potential and our professional training, supervision and outcome tracking is focused on encouraging professionals to achieve the highest standards of excellence.
Annual Report 2022
The Parents Plus Annual Report for 2022 is available to read or download here – 2022 Annual Report – Parents Plus Published June 2023
Previous Annual Reports
Cherie Tyner is CEO of Parents Plus with responsibility for delivering the strategic plan, scaling the impact of the charity, managing finance and governance, securing sponsorship opportunities for services, and working in partnership with the Parents Plus team and our partners, to ensure the continued quality delivery of all services to our stakeholders. Cherie first worked with Parents Plus as Business Development Manager and brings over 10 years senior management experience in the private healthcare sector, managing large scale evidence-based service delivery across teams to improve quality of life for individuals with cognitive impairments, as well as consulting to healthcare companies across Ireland in the areas of business development, service audits, expansion and communications. Cherie’s work in the charitable sector includes lobbying, awareness campaigns and securing investment to widen impact and improve outcomes for vulnerable groups. A qualified social worker, she also holds Postgraduate Diplomas in Communications and Public Relations, Internal Communications, and Leadership and Management. She is committed to scaling the impact of Parents Plus to equip services with the proven tools to strengthen families, and deliver sustainable change across communities both in Ireland and internationally.
Dr John Sharry is Clinical Director, co-founder and and co-developer of the eight evidence-based Parents Plus and Working Things Out Programmes. As Clinical Director, John is responsible for managing the Parents Plus expanding portfolio of research and programme development initiatives in response to the evolving needs of families and services working with them, as well as overseeing large scale partnerships, building on the impact that Parents Plus have made to date. He has 30 years experience as a mental health professional and was formerly Principal Social Worker at the Mater Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). John is an adjunct professor at the school of psychology in University College Dublin and has written 14 books, 10 intervention programmes and over 70 research papers and chapter. He also has a special interest in solution-focused and strengths-based practice and has written several books in this area. For more details see www.solutiontalk.ie.
Dr Eileen Brosnan is Head of Practice and Implementation at Parents Plus. Her professional background is in Social Work practice. She holds a PhD in the field of Adolescent Mental Health, a Master in Social Work and a Master in Multi Media. Prior to Parents Plus she worked as Senior Researcher and Project Leader role across a number of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Research collaborative initiatives with the School of Medicine, University College Dublin and the Mater Hospital CAMHS. During this period she co-developed the Parents Plus Working Things Out youth mental health programme and carried out programme evaluations within frontline mental health and education settings. She also worked on projects developing technology-based programmes to enhance engagement in mental health support for children and adolescents. As Head of Implementation and Practice Dr. Brosnan now leads the practice development and training agenda of the charity, widely engaging with practitioners, service managers and commissioners, and supporting them in building capacity and skills in implementing the suite of Parents Plus programmes. She has a keen interest in Implementation Science and Research and leads a number of research projects focused on empowering services to support the parenting journey and improve outcomes for families.
Grainne Hampson is a Senior Speech and Language Therapist, co-developer of the Parents Plus Early Years Programme, the Special Needs Programme and the ADHD Programme, as well as author of the book ‘Parenting Preschoolers and Young Children.’ She also has a key role in the development of the manuals and parent books for all the Parents Plus programmes.
Breda Flood is company secretary of Parents Plus and has been instrumental in the development of the charity since its inception in 2001. Breda has extensive experience in accountancy and administration and advises the Parents Plus Board.
Ciara Ni Raghallaigh is The Parents Plus Special Needs Programme Coordinator, working with public and voluntary sector disability services in Ireland and the UK to build their capacity to improve outcomes for children with disability and their families. With over twenty years experience as a HSE Senior Speech and Language Therapist, Ciara first trained in the Parents Plus programmes so she could support families more effectively on their journey from the early years right through to adolescence. Having extensive first hand experience of the success of the programmes in disability settings, Ciara now works with Parents Plus providing training and supervision to professionals in the Parents Plus Special Needs Programme (PPSN) and Early Years Programme (PPEY).
Claire Raftery is our Programmes Manager. She has 15 years’ financial and relationship management experience in Business Banking and she is responsible for the co-ordination and management of all of our training programmes. She also looks after our large customers to ensure the operational side of the delivery of our training programmes is managed in a professional and efficient manner.
Vicki Byrne is responsible for growing the impact of each of the Parents Plus programmes within the community, health, education and disability sectors. Vicki works closely with teams in these sectors to determine the Parents Plus programme training and supervision they need to improve outcomes for the families and children they support. She is enthusiastic, self-motivated, and passionate about improving the well-being of children, young people, and parents. Vicki made the move from sales and business development in the commercial sector, wanting to use her expertise to make a more meaningful impact and to be part of delivering real social change.
John Harvey is the Communications Lead for Parents Plus. With over 12 years of hands-on experience working across the entire marketing communications landscape, in both the private and third sectors in delivering strategic communications and brand management. John is a passionate and creative communication professional helping Parents Plus engage their communities and tell the stories of their impact in a digital-first world.
Dr Adele Keating is a Senior Clinical Psychologist working in Our Lady’s Children Hospital Crumlin in Dublin. Adele is co-developer of both the Parents Plus Parenting When Separated and Healthy Families Programmes. She works with Parents Plus providing training and supervision to professionals.
Fiona Hughes is a Clinical Manager with Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health. Fiona is also a qualified Social Worker with extensive experience in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and the Irish Child Protection Services. She is a Parents Plus Programme Trainer and helps to co-ordinate our Accreditation process.
Fred Ehresmann has worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Children and Young People’s Mental Health since 1993. He currently lectures at the University of the West of England and is a Parents Plus Senior Trainer responsible for Parents Plus facilitator training, supervision and accreditation in the UK.
Geraldine Buckley is a Senior Speech and Language Therapist currently working in the area of child and adolescent mental health. Geraldine has also worked extensively in education and many local/community settings. She works with Parents Plus providing training and supervision to professionals in the Early Years Programme.
Matt McDermott is a Parents Plus trainer and an accredited child psychotherapist. He has been working for over 15 years as a Senior Social Worker on a multi-disciplinary team in a child and adolescent mental health service, where he works therapeutically with young people and their parents around a broad range of issues affecting them.
Michelle Choudhry is a Senior Social Worker with extensive experience working in the area of child and adolescent mental health. Michelle is co-developer of the Parents Plus Parenting When Separated programme. She works with Parents Plus providing training and supervision to professionals.
Wendy Taylor has thirty years’ experience in adult education and working with children and families. In addition to her role as ‘Family Services Manager’ in a Family Resource Centre she is also an Adult Educator with the Education Training Board, where she specialises in Early Childhood Care and Education. Wendy is a Parents Plus trainer and supervisor, with extensive experience in facilitating the Parents Plus Programmes.
Karin Todd is a Parents Plus trainer and supervisor and is an experienced facilitator of our evidence-based programmes. Her professional background includes youth and community work, service management and therapeutic family work. Karin has a special interest in adolescent psychotherapy and in the family experience of parental separation and loss. She currently works in a community based setting as a family support practitioner.
Dr Michael Drumm is Director on the Board of the Parents Plus charity and acts currently as chairperson. He is Principal Clinical Psychologist and Head of Psychology at the HSE Dublin North City and County Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street and a member of the Board of Management of St. Brigid’s Day Nursery, Mountjoy Square. As well as the above roles, he was Chairperson of the Heads of Psychology Services Ireland (HPSI) from 2010 to 2012 and President of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) from November 2011 to November 2012. He remains actively involved in research and continues to provide clinical and research supervision to post graduate students. He has a particular interest in early intervention, as well as promoting mental health and resilience in young people and the use of therapeutic technologies.
Charlotte Wilson is a clinical psychologist and lecturer in clinical psychology, based in the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin. She has a long standing interest in parenting and evidence-based parenting interventions. She completed her PhD in mothers’ understanding and explanations for their children’s difficult behaviour, before completing her clinical psychology training in Manchester. During her training she trained in the Incredible Years programme and in Triple P. Following this she has run a number of parenting programmes in the UK and in Ireland. She is interested in the dissemination of evidence based parenting programmes and discovering for whom they work best.
Jane Morgan has 20 years high-tech marketing and product development from Boston to Billund, Berlin to Bangalore. Jane has managed teams around the globe, and tech products used by millions. She has researched and developed marketing strategy for global markets. A freak in the high tech business: Jane studied marketing (she also holds qualifications in German, sociology and environment systems thinking). At JEM 9 marketing consultancy, Jane works with CEOs, business and marketing leaders to assist them understand and reach customers. Passionate about solving real customer problems, technology, psychology & women in business, she can be found wandering around Stradbally the first weekend in September and online at JEM9.com.
Andrew Bourke is a global business and commercialisation expert with over 16 years experience in the healthcare space. Acquiring his MBA from UCD Smurfit Business School in 2014 and his Masters in BioInnovation from National University of Galway in 2016, Andrew has helped to generate a number of innovative medical device solutions which aim to positively impact millions of patients’ lives globally. Andrew has been co-founder and director of three successful companies to date and resides on a number of advisory boards across the areas of MedTech and philanthropy.
Reynagh O’ Brien has 20+ years experience working in the multinational sector, delivering global projects and leading global cross functional teams. She has a background in accounting (FCCA), with a focus on process improvement, process transformation and system implementations. Experienced in organisation design and development, integrating mergers and acquisitions and development of shared services centres delivering global business services, with a focus on change management.
Andrew Balfe is Vice President of Dell Technologies Infrastructure Solutions Group, leading the EMEA Server business. Andrew has over 25 years experience in the IT industry, and worked in a number of functions including IT Operations, Consulting and Professional Services, Sales, and most recently led a Global Product Marketing team. Andrew’s extensive international experience of product and sales management, as well as marketing, ensures his team’s successful support for sales , partners and customers, and delivering a world class customer experience.
Parents Plus is primarily funded through the sale of programme training and materials and an SSNO grant for national organisations. The SSNO grant is the Scheme to Support National Organisations and is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Rural and Community Development. The SSNO grant is administered by An Pobal
Parents Plus is also funded by occasional project funding from non-profit and grant making organisations. Most recently Parents Plus received funding, as part of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs QCBI Scheme, to develop the Healthy Families Programme.
Announcing new charity partnerships – We’re honoured to be chosen by Rethink Ireland for the 2021 Social Enterprise Development Fund and Business Accelerator Programme to help bring our first in the world, evidence-based Parents Plus Special Needs Programme to disability services across Ireland, to strengthen families and improve outcomes for families rearing an adolescent or young adult with an intellectual disability. We are extremely grateful for this incredible opportunity to be afforded world class expertise, and to partner with Rethink Ireland to scale our impact, and make a lasting difference to marginalised families and the services who are set up to support them. Thank you to everyone in Rethink Ireland!!! #TheFutureIsSocial
Parents Plus was recently selected by Ecclesiastical for their Movement for Good partnership, from over 1,000 applications from the UK and Ireland. The partnership will see Ecclesiastical fund the training of fifty professionals working in disability settings in our new Special Needs programme. The fund will reach 1,500 vulnerable families in the U.K. and Ireland and equip parents to manage the significant challenges faced by adolescents and young adults with an Intellectual Disability.
Ecclesiastical are a specialist insurance and financial services company with over 130 years of experience offering advice, expertise and caring protection. Charitably owned, they exist to contribute to the greater good of society and do this by managing a successful, ethically-run portfolio of businesses. Through their Movement for Good £50,000 grants they actively champion innovation, giving charities the backing they need to propel their plans forward and helping to turn creative ideas into practical solutions that benefit society. We look forward to working with Ecclesiastical over the next three years.
Parents Plus have also been successful in securing a partnership with Sunbeam Trust, who are dedicated to supporting developments that enable people with disabilities to maintain full and meaningful lives in their communities. Sunbeam Trust will fund the roll out the new Parents Plus Special Needs Programme to professionals working in disability and education services, and to parent led support groups, across County Wicklow. We look forward to working together to make a difference to the lives of children and adolescent with special needs and their families in Wicklow.
Thank you to the Mater Hospital for their continued support of Parents Plus through the provision of accommodation, services for training and support of the Parents Plus programmes in general.
All profits from sales of Parents Plus programmes and training are re-invested in developing new materials and sponsoring facilitator training.
Parents Plus CLG is an Irish registered charity and complies with the Charity Act 2009. Parents Plus is constituted as a company limited by guarantee not having a share capital, registered with the company number 530105. Parents Plus CLG is registered with the Charities Regulatory Authority with registered charity number 20043124 and has been granted charitable tax exemption by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners with the CHY reference number 13664.
Governance Code and Compliance
Parents Plus complies with all of the core standards outlined in the Charities Governance Code for a Type C Organisation. Since 2020 in line with the Charity Act 2015, Parents Plus complete an annual governance code compliance form and annual report to the Charities Regulator. In 2018/2019, Parents Plus completed a review of our constitution to ensure it was fully in line with the governance code. The new constitution was formally adopted by the board in June 2019.
The Parents Plus Board has a special Governance Subcommittee, which meets at least four times a year to ensure the highest standards of Governance. The sub-committee reviews and keeps our Governance Manual and Charity Policies up to date, completes the annual Governance Compliance form and produces an action plan each year to maintain high standards of Governance and accountability.
Parents Plus follows strict financial procedures and complies fully with all reporting requirements as detailed by the Charities Regulatory Authority. Parents Plus salaries are benchmarked with equivalent grades in the HSE and TUSLA. Our finances are carefully managed by our Finance Manager and reviewed at each board meeting. Our accounts are independently audited and our current auditors are Robert J Kidney and Co.
Our work is guided by our Strategic Plan 2022 – 2025.
Parents Plus was founded by Professor Carol Fitzpatrick and Dr John Sharry in 1995 with their first professional training programme. Since then the charity has grown significantly and now offers 8 professional training programmes for those who work in Community, Health, Education, and Disability services, along with a whole host of supports and ongoing supervision to help improve outcomes for families and children.
For over 28 years, we have consistently committed to researching outcomes and developing effective programmes for professionals supporting families. Our programmes have proven benefits for families, including those dealing with disadvantages, disability, and mental health problems, as well as the normal ups and downs of family life.
Backed by over 26 years of research, we collaborate with families to ensure that each of our eight flagship programmes meets their goals and is focused on empowering children and parents to achieve their potential.
All profits from sales of programme training and supervision are re-invested in developing new evidence-based programmes to respond to the evolving needs of families and to sponsor facilitator training and support of services with limited budgets, who work with high-need families.