On June 26th, Ballymun Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (BLDATF) launched the findings from a 7 year follow up study of families who graduated from the Ballymun Strengthening Families Programme. Launching the study, John Lyons, TD commended the families and agencies involved in SFP, citing the programme as a “win-win” for families, agencies, schools and the wider community.
SFP is a 15-week family skills programme for parents and teens/children to attend together. Funded and managed by BLDATF and supported by statutory and community agencies, the teen (12-16 years) programme has been running in Ballymun since 2008, and more recently a younger version for 6-12 years began in 2012.
The 7 year follow up study of the SFP (12-16) was led by an independent researcher, Sandra Roe, with the aim of understanding the impact of SFP on family and community life. The study involved a mixed methods approach, involving family interviews, adult questionnaires, and focus groups with young people and local agencies. It concluded that “SFP has benefitted families through improved communication and relationships between parents and teenagers, improved parenting skills and teenagers social skills…” and has created “stronger families with less conflict”. The programme was also found to have had additional benefits including increased confidence, educational benefits and increased relationships within the community. Speaking at the launch, two graduating mothers spoke passionately about their experience on Ballymun SFP reflecting on how much happier and closer their family was as a result of taking part in the programme. One expressed her increased confidence had encouraged her to further her own education. A copy of the full report is available from www.ballymunlocaldrugstaskforce.ie and www.sfpcouncilireland.ie .
For further information, please contact Cliodhna Mahony, SFP Manager, on 01 8832142.