Community Support Services
The Community Support Services provides practical, emotional and therapeutic support to young people and families within a community setting, encouraging the development of positive life skills and relationships, which would enable that young person or family to integrate and participate in their community.
Programmes are flexible and tailored to the individual needs and goals of each participant. Work undertaken is progressive and focused on achieving agreed realistic goals, which are identified through a comprehensive Needs Assessment, monitored by our clinical team. The clinical spectrum includes Forensic/Clinical psychology, Psychiatry, Occupational Therapy and Educational Psychology.
A 24 /7 support service is provided for all participants on each of the programmes.
Community Support Services Vision Statement:
"The Fresh Start Community Support Services team aim to provide high quality, individually tailored Care solutions for our clients. We strive to be at the pioneering forefront of Care provision in Ireland. We believe our service will continue to grow as our participants fulfil their maximum potential, enabling them to contribute to their community."
Transitional Aftercare Programme
The Transitional Aftercare Programme is a programme tailored to the individual needs of the young person who is moving from residential care into independent living. As such it offers a sliding scale of support beginning with an intensive level of care, and ending with minimal social care intervention. This is an efficient yet quality service in which the social care staff work themselves 'out' of the daily life experience of the young person, leaving them capable to function in society as a young adult. A detailed model of care guides the staff as the young person progresses through this service.
Staff are guided in their work by a comprehensive needs assessment which is monitored by Fresh Start's Clinical Team led by Dr. Ian Gargan. This allows us to work with the young person in an informed and responsible manner. The young person's participation is required to maximise the most successful outcome to this programme. In understanding and meeting the young person's needs as they move to leave the care system this programme offers an economic good fit, as it is pragmatic, time limited, and seeks to lessen the young person's further need of State intervention and aid.
Features of this programme include:
- An intensive daily support programme, primarily aimed at young people leaving care, and moving into their first independent home.
- Assessments of the young person's needs are conducted at the commencement of the programme, and are monitored by Fresh Start's Clinical Team.
- Focus is placed on the learning and development of life skills, i.e. budgeting, household management, health, career planning, etc.
- Young person is involved in the process, in terms of deciding their place to live, education, training, personal goals and thus has ownership of his/ her plan.
- Emphasis is placed on personal awareness and the building of positive relationships.
- Young person is encouraged to strive towards independent living, and community integration is promoted, thus enabling naturally occurring support networks within their local community.
- The level of staff involvement decreases as the programme progresses. We aim to work ourselves out of the young person's daily life.
- Fresh Start is committed to maintain contact with the young person up to ten years after they leave our care, and track their progress, so that relationships are not automatically lost, and support if needed can continue when required.
This model of care is a specialised programme for those young people for whom mainstream residential care has reached its useful limits, but who still require a high level of staff intervention before proceeding into a full transitional aftercare programme. It allows the young person to live in their own living space, whilst having the direct support of staff similar to a single occupancy residential unit.
Family Support Programme:
Fresh Start's Family Support Programme is unique in its focus, merging the needs of parents and children and identifying supports within and outside its service to meet these needs.
The Family Support Programme Mission Statement
- "To strengthen family solidarity through empowerment, positive experiences, with a clear focus on keeping children safe"
- 'Family Support is an umbrella term covering a wide range of interventions which vary along a number of dimensions, according to their target group' (Springboard, 2001)
- Family Support is a way of promoting healthy relationships in families and preventing dysfunctional relationships from getting worse.
- The problems addressed are diverse in nature and include, but are not limited to, parenting problems, family conflict, child neglect, educational underachievement.
- To prevent children and young people from entering into, or returning to, the care system.
- To respond in a supportive manner to families where children's and/or young people's welfare is under threat.
- To work from a strength perspective, by developing relationships within the family system.
- To reduce risk to children and young people by enhancing their family life.
- To support parents and children and/or young people in identifying existing problems and to develop realistic strategies.
- To support parents and children and/or young people to make valuable networks within their own community.
- To empower parents with practical skills, knowledge and build self-esteem and confidence.
- To encourage family participation in decision-making directly affecting their lives.
- To assist in the reintegration of children and young people back to their families.
Community Support Services Provide:
- Structured and planned family support in the home.
- Assessment of the family dynamic, including individual members of the family.
- Advocacy on behalf of parent, child, young person and family.
- Key Working on an individual basis with children and young people.
- After hours on-call support.
- Weekend and evening family support work.
- Respite care services.
- Education support in the home.
- Psychiatric, psychological and educational psychological assessments, when needed.
- A selection of individual and group parenting courses such as;
The Effective Parenting of Self and Children
- Positive Parenting.
- Therapeutic Play Work.
- Life Story Work.
- 'Stay Safe' Programme.
- Anger Management Programme.
- Sport Activities.
- Household budgeting.
- Family days, promoting effective engagement and communication.
- Theme days.
This programme operates mainly alongside the Family Support Programme and Fresh Start's Residential Care Programmes, but is available for other young people.
It is designed to provide a safe retreat environment to allow the young person time away from their regular situation. This enables the young person to reflect on issues in their lives, and to experience an alternative and positive living experience. Emphasis is placed on the young person in their normal living environment, so as not to create an unrealistic or disjointed care experience, from which they must return. Community Support Services staff seek to empower the young person with better strategies for when they return to their normal living environment. Respite care provides children and young people with a structure, planned, short-term Plan, aimed at strengthening relationships within their family.
The Fresh Start Community Support Services Team acknowledges that, from time to time, family situations can become difficult for both parents and children/young people. As part of our Community Support Service, we offer respite care as a valuable support to the whole family. This allows the family an opportunity to have a break from the difficulties that they may face within the family home.
By allowing children/young people to spend time away from their home environment for a few days break, this can provide families with an opportunity to relieve some of the pressure and tension that may be occurring.
Fresh Start Community Support Services team recognise that each family situation is unique and therefore, each Plan is tailored to suit the needs of both children/young people and parents.
Respite takes place for no longer than two nights and a maximum of three days for a young person.
What is Respite about?
- Staff and children/young people stay in selected accommodation set in comfortable surroundings.
- Staff work with children/young people on structures, routines, boundaries, relationships, self-esteem, communication, health & hygiene, social skills.
- Staff can work on a one to one basis with a child/young person, or in pairs.
- Children/young people are expected to participate in the planning of their care package.
This programme is a flexible programme which is tailored to meet specific needs of young people who have either limited connections with care, or need an additional level of support. Based on a comprehensive Needs Assessment, staff are informed about the young person's specific needs and are guided in their work by Fresh Start's Clinical Team led by Dr. Ian Gargan. This allows them to work with the young person in an intelligent and responsible manner. The young person's participation is required to maximise the most successful outcome of this programme.
Some young people will have already achieved a stable level of functioning level and be near independence. Some young people may live in foster care or with their own family and require specialist time and attention, completing life story work, or one of our behaviour management programmes. As such all these young people generally have minimal contact with the support team, i.e. a weekly visit, though they will have 24/7 access to the on-call phone support service.
This programme is viewed as a support to enable the young person to maintain their current level of care, and also to identify and pursue further goals.
The Outreach programme will also work with young people living in supported accommodation, linking in with them on a regular basis, focusing on the development of skills for independent living, as the young person prepares to leave their placement. This programme provides practical and emotional support to young people living within a community setting, who experience mental health difficulties, intellectual or physical disabilities and where additional support is of benefit to them.
What is Life Story Work?
- The Life Story programme runs over a period of twelve to sixteen weeks. Play is a key feature and enables children/young people to learn about themselves and the world around them.
- Life Story Work is an attempt to give back the past to children/young people, especially those separated from their birth families.
- It helps children/young people to begin to accept their past and move positively into the future.
- It provides a structured and understandable way of helping children/young people talk about themselves.
- It provides support to children/young people in learning about their past in terms of information and facts, locating in time and place and why they are where they are at present.
The Community Support Services Team:
- Our team is compromised of qualified, experienced and trained individuals.
- Part of the success of our programmes rests with the long-standing, motivated, committed and highly driven members of the team.
- Each member of the team has specialised training in specific areas, which aims to meet the diverse nature of the Community Support Programmes. Team members training includes, but is not limited to, First Aid, Literacy training, Parenting Programmes, Assist, TCI, Life Story Work and Therapeutic Play.
- The Community Support Services have also developed programmes in Personal Awareness, Safety Awareness, Preparation for Parenthood, Budgeting and Food and Nutrition.
- All of the work is overseen by our Clinical Team.
If you wish to find out more about this programme, please contact Mr. David Durney, Director of Operations on 059-9139454 or by email to email@example.com