Parents Plus is an Irish charity that develops evidence-based, practical, parenting and mental health programmes. Our mission is to improve the well-being of children and families by empowering professionals to deliver our evidence-based programmes in their services.
Parents Plus have developed seven flagship programmes, in partnership with parents and children living in Ireland. Parents Plus is committed to researching outcomes and developing effective programmes focused on empowering children and parents to achieve their potential. Furthermore, our professional training is focused on encouraging professionals to achieve the highest standards of excellence. You can read more on our evidence-based programmes here.
Parents Plus actively responds to the needs of families in our communities. In 2019/2020 we developed the first of it’s kind in the world ‘Special Needs Programme’, for parents of adolescents with special needs. The programme was developed as a response to the significant challenges that parents of children with an intellectual disability can face, especially during the adolescent years, and when service input is often at a minimum. The programme will empower professionals to support parents to manage these challenges, improve their family’s well-being and strengthen their links with other parents.
Parents Plus is primarily funded through the sale of programme training and materials and a 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.
We are delighted to announce our 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. In compliance with the Charity Act 2015, Parents Plus will be reporting annually on their compliance starting in 2020. In addition the charity has and continues to submit an annual report to the Charities Regulator.
In 2018 and 2019, Parents Plus completed a review of our constitution which was formally adopted by the board in June 2019.
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 2019-2023.
Parents Plus was founded by Professor Carol Fitzpatrick and Dr John Sharry and the first programmes began running in 1995.
Parents Plus mission is to improve the well-being of children and families by empowering professionals to deliver 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 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 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 is focused on encouraging professionals to achieve the highest standards of excellence.
Dr John Sharry is co-founder and CEO of the Parents Plus charity and co-developer of the seven Parents Plus and Working Things Out programmes. He has 30 years experience as a mental health professional and was formerly Principal Social Worker at the Mater CAMHS. He 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 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 a Social Worker with extensive experience in CAMHS and was lead developer of the Working Things Out Programme. She is a senior Parents Plus Trainer and Project leader. Previously, she worked for several years as a Researcher and Project Leader (School of Medicine, UCD) and on various projects developing technology and multimedia programmes to enhance engagement in psychotherapy for children and adolescents.
Grainne Hampson is a Senior Speech and Language Therapist, co-developer of both the Parents Plus Early Years and Special Needs Programmes, 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.
Claire Raftery is our Programme Manager. She has 15 years’ experience in Business Banking and organises and co-ordinates all of our training programmes and handles customer queries.
Dr Adele Keating is a Senior Clinical Psychologist working in Our Lady’s Children Hospital Crumlin in Dublin. Adele is co-developer of the Parents Plus Parenting When Separated programme. She works with Parents Plus providing training and supervision to professionals.
Fiona Hughes is a 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.
Sinéad Crowley is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, Play Therapist and Marte Meo therapist. Sinéad has over 15 years experience as a Senior Mental Health Social Worker working with children, adolescents and their parents in the area of mental health. Sinéad is particularly interested in working with parents because of the importance of the parent child relationship. Sinéad works with Parents Plus providing training and supervision to professionals in the Early Years Programme.
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.
Mary Fanning works with youngballymun as the Infant Mental Health Coordinator, providing individual and group interventions to promote secure attachment in the birth to three year period, and delivering infant mental health training to front line practitioners. Prior to that she worked for 19 years as a Speech and Language Therapist Manager in the Mater Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in north Dublin city, and trained as a Marte Meo therapist in Dublin in 2003-4. As a child mental health clinician, she specialised in early intervention and prevention and is co-developer of the Parents Plus Early Years programme.
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.
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. You can also view Introduction to the Parents Plus Programmes from Parents Plus, on Vimeo.
Our Training and Delivery: We train 400 professionals on average each year throughout Ireland and the UK as facilitators to deliver our programmes in their own local areas and agencies. Our ‘train the trainer’ model ensures a long-term, sustainable benefit for facilitators’ communities and organisations. Facilitators include teachers, social workers, speech and language therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, childcare workers, mental health workers and community workers. Programmes are delivered to parents in a variety of settings including: Family Resource Centres, childcare centres and preschools, primary and secondary schools, child protection agencies, child and adolescent mental health clinics, colleges and training centres as well as to parents with children with special needs.
Events: Parents Plus host practice conferences, as well as information sessions and advance practice workshops. Find out more about our most recent conference ‘Innovations in Working with Families’ here: www.parentsplus.ie/conference.