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Calling all services for families in Limerick and Clare
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Calling all services for families in Limerick and Clare

The JP McManus Benevolent Fund and Parents Plus Charity are offering sponsorship for free training places to professionals providing services to children, adolescents, and young adults with intellectual disability or special needs in Counties Limerick and Clare. 

The JP McManus Benevolent Fund will sponsor the training and post training supervision of professionals in two of the flag ship Parents Plus evidence-based programmes – the Parents Plus Early Years Programme (PPEY) and the Parents Plus Special Needs Programme (PPSN), described in greater detail below.


The funding will provide an opportunity to practitioners and teams that give support to parents of children with Special Needs and Intellectual Disability across the child, adolescent and young adult age ranges, to train a number of team members in both these programmes.  For example, this may involve training 2 – 3 team members in the programmes with at least one staff member trained in both.

The opportunity is open to Children’s Disability Network Teams as well as parent led community organisations and other family support services.  We are encouraging collaborations across local services to provide the programmes (depending on age group) to families, in need of this support.  This could involve, for example, a professional from a DNT working with a community family support service or parent peer support organisation to run a programme.

Please contact Dr. Eileen Brosnan and Lesley Lally at Parents Plus if you have any further queries about this initiative or would like to discuss your application further. eileen@parentsplus.ie and  lesley@parentsplus.ie

The services participating will agree to take part in the associated evaluation of the programmes being conducted via the School of Psychology TCD.

Key Dates

May/June Disseminate information to service in Clare and Limerick

June 15th2 – 3.30 PM – we will hold and Information session to give you more detail about this initiative please sign up here

June 24th at 5 PM – Closing date for applications from organisations/practitioners

Sept. 7th, 9th and 14th 2022, (9 am – 1.30) Parents Plus Special Needs Programme training 3 modules

Sept. 15th, 16th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd 2022 (9 am – 1.30) Parents Plus Early Years Programme training 5 modules

Oct to Dec 2022; Spring 2023 – Running Programmes and research

The Programmes
Parents Plus Early Years Programme (PPEY)
The PPEY is an emotional behavioural group-based parenting programme for children that helps families build positive relationships, focusing on communication, play and good daily routines.  It’s a holistic family intervention and has a unique video feedback component that supports parents to develop their skills.  Parents and guardians of children up to 8 years with special needs will benefit from attending the Parents Plus Early Years group. It will provide them with valuable information and strategies to:

  • Build their children’s communication and support their learning and development
  • Develop good attachments and relationships
  • Positively manage tantrums and behaviours that are challenging
  • Reduce their own stress as parents
  • Build their children’s self-esteem
  • Establish positive daily routines

Accessing peer support and problem-solving in the group are key components to empowering parents to build on their own strengths and coping capacities.

The facilitator training is suitable for those who work in a variety of settings including, for example, Early Intervention Services, Children’s Disability Network Teams and Early Childhood Education settings (pre-school and school).  The training equips facilitators to implement PPEY in their agencies as a 8 -12 week parent programme comprising of group and individual sessions. By taking part in the PPEY training you will gain skills in:

  • How to use a strengths based solution focused approach to support parents
  • Deliver individual video sessions to parents so as to tailor the intervention to the needs of specific families
  • Facilitate a supportive group programme so that parents find solutions that work for their own family and build their network of support

For this roll out the training provided in the PPEY will have a disability focus and facilitators will be supported to deliver the programme content suitable to the families they work with, (relevant programme videos, using the video feedback model), and to invest time in screening parents in advance of the programme to get the group composition right.

Parents Plus Special Needs Programme (PPSN)
The PPSN is a parenting support programme for parents/guardians of adolescents and young adults, 11-25 years, with an intellectual disability.
The Parents Plus Special Needs Programme (PPSN) which is run over 7 weekly sessions and was developed to respond to the complex needs of young people with a learning difficulty and their families.  It consists of a seven-week group delivered to support parents: 

  • Manage behaviour and emotional problems
  • Deal with puberty, sexuality and relationships
  • Reduce their own stress as parents
  • Support their child’s education
  • Prepare their young person for adulthood and future transitions

The programme also involves a monthly follow-up support session to parents after the 7 weeks are completed.
The training, delivered over 3 modules (x 4 hrs), is practical and solution-focused and will ensure you get an in-depth understanding of the programme content and skills in delivering the programme via face-to-face and online sessions.

The Parents Plus Special Needs Programme (PPSN) is the first international, evidence-based parenting programme with proven benefits for families with an adolescent with a learning disability. A Randomised Controlled Trial (2019/20) with TCD Psychology Department, reported significant improvements in problem behaviours, parental satisfaction and self-efficacy, and goal attainment.

Apply for this sponsorship opportunity  

If you would like to apply for a JP McManus Benevolent funded place on this project, please complete the following Application Form and Contract of Agreement and submit to Eileen Brosnan at eileen@parentsplus.ie before 5p.m on June 24th 2022.

Please see Contract of Agreement to understand the commitment for your service in participating in this initiative.

Please note that as part of this sponsorship opportunity services will agree to take part in an evaluation of the impact of the programme for families being conducted with the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin.
Included in the sponsorship opportunity 

  • Programme Training modules (PPEY 5 Modules; PPSN 3 Modules)
  • Facilitator Manual and first set of parent books for your parent programme
  • Post training implementation support and supervision 

Information Webinar To find out more, please attend the information webinar, hosted by the Parents Plus Charity and supported by the JP McManus Benevolent Fund, on June 15th 2 – 3.30p.m. To attend this information session, please sign up here

Closing date for applications for sponsorship is June 24th, 2022 at 5.00 p.m.  

Please feel free to pass on this sponsorship opportunity to your colleagues also.  Further information on PPSN and PPEY, their impact for children, young people, parents and families, and PPSN Randomised Controlled Trial results are available on the Parents Plus website www.parentsplus.ie/research