Parents Plus Special Needs Programme Seminar – launch of pilot programme

Press Release – 19th of June 2019

The first Parenting Programme in the world for parents of adolescents with intellectual disabilities partners with disability services across Ireland to evaluate the programme impact

Professionals working in the field of intellectual disability came together on Tuesday 18th of June at the Aishling Hotel, Dublin, as part of a research group to evaluate the new ‘Special Needs’ parenting programme for parents of adolescents with an intellectual disability developed by Parents Plus.

The first of its kind in Ireland and the world, the programme was developed by Parents Plus’s Professor John Sharry, Speech and Language Therapist Grainne Hampson and Assistant Psychologist Aoife O’ Leary in partnership with families affected by intellectual disability and with disability services across Ireland.

The research will be carried out in the form of a Randomised Controlled Trial with the disability services that gathered at the event and in partnership with Trinity College Dublin’s Dr. Charlotte Wilson, Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology, Psychologist in Clinical Training, Suzanne McMahon and Parents Plus over the next six months.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Wilson explained “This means that the Parents Plus Special Needs Programme, as the first of its kind to undergo a Randomised Controlled Trial, can be used across the world as a valuable tool to help families with an adolescent with an intellectual disability.  The partnership with the professionals here today to engage in a Randomised Controlled Trial is not only the gold standard, but will prove that it is this specific programme that is making the difference for families.    To see Parents Plus leading the way in developing this programme for parents of adolescents with an intellectual disability is truly remarkable.  Indeed, it is because of their focus on developing evidence based programmes and the impact of their other flagship parenting and mental health programmes that I am delighted to be involved in such a momentous piece of research.”

Professor John Sharry of Parents Plus highlighted that “In developing the Special Needs Programme we worked extensively with disability services throughout the country and conducted focus groups with 97 parents who are raising an adolescent with special needs.  Their involvement and contributions are vital to ensuring that this programme is relevant and will really make a difference.  Parents of adolescents with an intellectual disability face unique challenges as their child becomes a young adult.  Research shows that this is a time of high levels of parental stress and significant difficulty.  Feedback emphasised that current parenting programmes do not meet their needs.  For us as an organisation, it is absolutely critical that we hear the voices of all families in Ireland and equip professionals to support these families through this journey.  They should never be left behind.  The Parents Plus Special Needs Parenting Programme will meet this need.”

Gina Grant of Down Syndrome Donegal stated “There is nothing like this available to these families.  They feel that they can’t ask anyone questions relevant to the needs of their teenager.  They feel lost in their community.   As a professional who delivers the other Parents Plus programmes, I know and see the value that these interventions bring to families.  The Special Needs Parenting Programme will show families affected by intellectual disability that their family and their futures are really valued.  That they matter.”

Parents Plus will launch this much needed programme in spring 2020 and with a long waiting list of services eager to begin training in and running of the programme, the team look forward to training professionals to finally reach the thousands of families across Ireland and globally who are calling out for a programme of this kind.

For media enquiries contact

Cherie Tyner, Parents Plus: (087) 6455511; cherie@parentsplus.ie

About Parents Plus

Parents Plus was founded by former Principal Social Worker at the Mater Hospital Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, and adjunct senior lecturer at the School of Psychology in University College Dublin, Professor John Sharry and Professor Carol Fitzpatrick in 1998 and established as a registered charity under the auspices of the Mater Hospital, Dublin in 2001.

Parents Plus is an Irish charity that develops practical, evidence-based parenting and mental health programmes. The organisation train professionals working with children and families both in Ireland and internationally to deliver the programmes in communities and clinical settings.

Parents Plus have developed five evidence based flagship programmes in partnership with parents and children living in Ireland and includes their specific experiences. The programmes combine a social learning model with a solution-focused preventative framework that encourages and empowers parents and children to ‘take charge’ and make positive changes in their lives.

The programmes include:

  • The Early Year’s Programme for parents of children aged 1 to 6.
  • The Children’s Programme for parents of children aged 6 to 11.
  • The Adolescent’s Programme for parents of adolescents aged 11 to 16.
  • The Working Things Out Programme targeted at adolescents aged 11-16.
  • Parenting when Separated Programme targeted at parents who are preparing for, going through or have gone through a separation and divorce.
  • The Special Needs Programme for parents of adolescents with an intellectual disability
  • The Healthy Families Programme (Currently in development)

There are over 20 studies conducted in clinical, community and disability settings to attest to the programmes effectiveness for families with children and adolescents of all ages, and for separated families.  The programmes follow international best-practice guidelines as described by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in the UK, and they are specifically listed as evidence-based programmes by the Department of Education (UK) – www.education.gov.uk and the Early Intervention Foundation – www.eif.org.uk.  More information about our evidence can be found on our research page here.

In the development of the PPSN we are grateful to our funders and supporters, particularly the Mater hospital and a SSNO grant for national organisations from the Dept of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government via  An Pobal

 

Book a place at the free Advanced Practice Workshop in Dublin in June

Parents Plus are inviting PP Facilitators to a FREE Advanced Practice Workshop in Dublin in June to cater specifically for more experienced facilitators.

The workshop will focus on further developing group facilitation skills, effective programme set-up and delivery, managing challenges, and strengths based engagement with parents.

  • When is the workshop: Wednesday, 12th June 2019 from 9.30am until 1.00pm
  • Location: Nurses Education Centre, 14 Nelson Street, Dublin 7
  • Cost: Free to attend for PP Facilitators but you must book online to reserve a place

To book a place on this Advanced Practice Workshop, book online below under supervisions

If you’ve any other queries about this workshop, please email eileen@parentsplus.ie 

Order Parent Booklets

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Alternatively, you can checkout at any time using the basket top right of the screen.

Free Advanced Practice Workshop in Cavan – book online

Parents Plus are inviting PP Facilitators to a FREE Advanced Practice Workshop in Cavan on 30th April to cater specifically for more experienced facilitators.

The workshop will focus on further developing group facilitation skills, effective programme set-up and delivery, managing challenges, and strengths based engagement with parents.

  • When is the workshop: Tuesday, 30th April from 2.00pm to 4.00pm
  • Location: Hotel Kilmore, Dublin Road, Cavan
  • Cost: Free to attend for PP Facilitators but you must book online to reserve a place.

To book a place on this Advanced Practice Workshop, book online below under supervisions. 

If you’ve any other queries about this workshop, please email eileen@parentsplus.ie 

Order Parent Booklets

Once you have added all your purchases to the basket please proceed to the checkout.
Alternatively, you can checkout at any time using the basket top right of the screen.

FREE Advanced Practice Workshop in Dublin in April

Parents Plus are inviting PP Facilitators to a FREE Advanced Practice Workshop in Dublin in April to cater specifically for more experienced facilitators.

The workshop will focus on further developing group facilitation skills, effective programme set-up and delivery, managing challenges, and strengths based engagement with parents.

  • When is the workshop: Tuesday, 9th April 2019 from 9.30am until 1.00pm
  • Location: Nurses Education Centre, 14 Nelson Street, Dublin 7
  • Cost: Free to attend for PP Facilitators but you must book online to reserve a place

To book a place on this Advanced Practice Workshop, book online below under supervisions

If you’ve any other queries about this workshop, please email eileen@parentsplus.ie 

Order Parent Booklets

Once you have added all your purchases to the basket please proceed to the checkout.
Alternatively, you can checkout at any time using the basket top right of the screen.

Parents Plus CLG is Seeking New Trustees/ Directors for the Board

Parents Plus is currently looking for talented and motivated new Trustees who can advise and guide Parents Plus to the next stage of its development. We are also looking for potential Trustees who:

Have experience of delivering the Parents Plus Programmes in frontline agencies and/or managing the roll out of the programmes to communities.
Are parents who have attended a Parents Plus programme and who could represent the views of parents and families.
May not be directly involved in the services above but who might have specific skills in:
– Organisation Development for Charities
– Finance and Accounting
– Collaborating with state bodies such as, the Department of Education, Department of Health/HSE, Department of Children and Youth Affairs and TUSLA
– Rolling out national campaigns

Commitment of Trustees

Trustees are expected to attend five to seven board meetings a year and to participate in various subgroups that may be established from time to time. While the Directors are elected at the AGM each year, we envision that Trustees who become involved consider they are making a three to five year commitment. As per the Charity Governance code, Directors are voluntary appointments.

Support for Trustees

Parents Plus will support Trustees in gaining access to relevant training for the role and will pay all travel and subsistence expenses incurred in acting as a Trustee.

Application Process

Potential Trustees are asked to send in a CV and a statement of interest in the work of Parents Plus to john@parentsplus.ie

CVs will be reviewed by the CEO and the Chair of the Board and suitable applicants will be offered an individual interview.
Once a candidate is approved, then the person is invited onto the Board for a trial period of six months. This trial period allows both the candidate and the Parents Plus Board to decide if there is a good fit. At the end of the six months, if both the candidate and the existing Board members are happy then the candidate is invited to become elected as a trustee at the next AGM.

Background – Parents Plus CLG

Parents Plus CLG was founded in 1998 and works to develop and disseminate evidence-based programmes for families in Ireland and internationally. In order to ensure long-term sustainable benefit, the charity adopts a ‘train the trainer’ approach to empower professionals and community leaders to deliver the programmes in their agencies and local areas. Specifically, Parents Plus provides programme materials and facilitator training, post training supervision and coaching, as well as evaluation and implementation support to local agencies and groups over time to build long-term family support capacity, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Visit www.parentsplus.ie

Background – Parents Plus Programmes

Parents Plus currently has five flagship programmes, which are delivered as structured courses with small groups of parents, children and adolescents utilising DVD input, handouts, group exercises and homework. The programmes are delivered over six -12 weeks to small groups of parents and adolescents by community professionals who have undergone Parents Plus training.

The five programmes are:
1) The Early Year’s Programme (parents of children 1 – 6 years)
2) The Children’s Programme (parents of children 6 – 11 years) 
3) The Adolescent’s Programme (parents of adolescents 11 – 16 years)
4) The Working Things Out Programme (targeted at adolescents aged 11 – 16 years)
5) Parenting when Separated Programme (targeted at parents post separation)

We have currently two new programmes in development notably the:
a) Parents Plus Pathways Programme to support parents with children with a disability.
b) Parents Plus Healthy Families Programme to support healthy, active and positive family lifestyles.

The Parents Plus Programmes have all been developed in partnership with Irish parents and children specifically including their individual experiences. There is now a substantial body of evidence demonstrating the high impact of the Parents Plus Programmes in terms of reducing emotional/behaviour problems for children, alleviating parental stress, as well as improving children’s learning within the home.

See www.parentsplus.ie/research for further details.

 

 

Free Advanced Practice Workshop for facilitators in 2019

Parents Plus are inviting PP Facilitators to a FREE Advanced Practice Workshop in 2019 to cater specifically for more experienced facilitators.

The workshop will focus on further developing group facilitation skills, effective programme set-up and delivery, managing challenges, and strengths based engagement with parents.

  • When is the workshop: Thursday, 21st March 2019 – 1.30pm – 4pm
  • Location: ClareCare, Harmony Row, Ennis, Co Clare
  • Cost: Free to attend for PP Facilitators

To book a place on this Advanced Practice Workshop, book online below under additional training.

If you’ve any other queries about this workshop, please email eileen@parentsplus.ie 

Order Parent Booklets

Once you have added all your purchases to the basket please proceed to the checkout.
Alternatively, you can checkout at any time using the basket top right of the screen.

Book Now – Group Supervision Training coming up

Order Parent Booklets

Once you have added all your purchases to the basket please proceed to the checkout.
Alternatively, you can checkout at any time using the basket top right of the screen.

 

Group supervision training sessions are a great opportunity for you to meet with your colleagues, reflect on your experiences of running Parents Plus groups thus far, and access support to improve your practice.

The goals of the workshops are to:

  • Support facilitators to get PP groups up and running in their services
  • Support programme delivery
  • Consult on specific challenges/group facilitation skills
  • Provide information on the Parents Plus Accreditation process

Become a Parents Plus Champion Facilitator in 2019

In order to recognise the many facilitators and agencies who continue to deliver the Parent Plus programmes in a sustained quality way, Parents Plus are identifying a number of ‘champion’ facilitators, who will be eligible for extra support and supervision, as well as reduced cost training and programme materials.

Details about how to apply to become a Champion Facilitator are below.

Benefits of becoming a Parents Plus Champion

  • Receive extra support and supervision from Parents Plus Trainers to deliver your services to families.
  • Access to lower cost programme booklets, supervision and additional training.
  • Be eligible to apply for a discount on Parents Plus training for colleagues in your agency (who are going to co-facilitate groups).
  • Be recognised as delivering a quality service in your community.
  • Receive a special certificate from Parents Plus to recognise your champion status for the year you receive it.

Discounts for Parents Plus Champions

  • 1 free supervision session annually
  • 25 % discount on Parent booklets
  • 25% discount on additional Parents Plus training
  • 25% discount on facilitator training for colleagues in your agency who can act as co-facilitators
  • Discounts are available for the duration of champion status (e.g. 1/1/2019 – 31/12/2019)
  • Parents Plus reserve the right to vary discount rates at any point.

Criteria for becoming a Parents Plus champion

To become a champion facilitator you need to be:

  • Delivering one of the Parents Plus programmes at least two times a year.
  • Following the Parents Plus Quality Protocol as you deliver the programmes.
  • Be an accredited facilitator or be working towards accreditation.
  • Have run a Parents Plus programme at least twice in the preceding 18 months and have plans to run one twice in the next 18 months.
  • Be prepared to return to Parents Plus audit data on groups run (e.g. anonymised parent course review forms at the end of each group).
  • Have the full support of management in your agency re: becoming a Parents Plus Champion Facilitator.
  • Be prepared for you and your agency to be identified as a Parents Plus Champion on the Parents Plus website and within our social media communications.

Other Information

  • Parents Plus invite joint applications from co-facilitators in an agency delivering groups together, though individual applications will be considered also.
  • Champion status is awarded on a yearly basis and it can be renewed annually, once the facilitator(s) continues to meet the criteria above.
  • You are eligible to apply if you are working within an agency that has open referral for families (e.g. advertised to the public) and within specialist agencies with internal referral only (e.g. CAMHS and disability settings).

Application Process

To apply to become a Champion Facilitator 2019 please complete the short application form HERE and email it to siobhan@parentsplus.ie

The closing date for applications for the coming year is Thursday, 30th January 2019.

 

 

Free Supervision Offer for Trained Facilitators in the Parents Plus Programmes

We are always delighted to keep in touch with facilitators and hear about how the groups are going, the things that are working well and any of the challenges. We would like to support you in continuing to run good quality groups for parents and young people attending your service. Over the next period (until the end of Feb. 2019), we are offering free Supervision Sessions by phone or Skype/Facetime/Zoom.

These supervision sessions are available to individual facilitators, co-facilitating pairs or small groups of practitioners delivering the PP programmes within a service. You may be running or have recently run a group, or you and your colleagues may be aiming to get Parents Plus off the ground again in your service, or you may be a newly trained facilitator wanting support in getting started.

The PP Supervision Session focuses on helping practitioners:

  • Develop skills in effective programme delivery
  • Recruit participants for your groups and keep them coming each week
  • Develop a reflective practice approach
  • Improve group facilitation skills
  • Deal well with challenges
  • Use participant feedback effectively
  • Problem-solve any issues arising from the groups

To apply to avail of one of these free Supervision Sessions please email Eileen Brosnan at eileen@parentsplus.ie asap with the below details.

If you are applying on behalf of yourself and a co-facilitator or small group in your agency please include all names. We will then get in touch to arrange a suitable time-slot for you. These slots are limited, so we would encourage you to get in touch soon to secure a session.

Name:
Contact number:
Email:
Agency/service:
Which PP programmes are you trained in?

How many groups have you run so far since you were trained?

Are you currently running a programme? Give details of programme, start and finish dates, numbers etc.

What is your main goal for the Supervision Session?