On Thursday 26th January 2017 the Cork & Kerry Strengthening Families Programme Steering Committee celebrated 10 years of delivering the Strengthening Family Programme in the Cork & Kerry region. This event was hosted in the Vertigo Room, County Hall Cork. Over 60 professionals from the community, voluntary and statutory sectors attended the celebration. Many members of the National Strengthening Families Programme Council of Ireland travelled to Cork for the celebration.
Speakers at the event included Mr. David Baumann Chair of the Cork & Kerry SFP Steering Committee, who chaired the morning and presented on the cultural adaptation of the programme in the region. Mr. David Lane, Coordinator of Drug & Alcohol Services HSE South spoke about the initial roll-out out of the programme in the area and the delivery of the programme in the region since 2007. Ms. Gemma O’Leary & Mrs. Lorraine O’Donovan presented on the development of the Strengthening Families Programme Site Coordinator Manual. Mrs. Donna Butler introduced the National Stregthening Families Programme of Ireland under the heading of a “National Coordinated Approach”, which outlined the NSFPC Core Principles, Accomplishments, Strategic Developments & Actions for 2017. Mrs. Rosemary Fox & Mrs. Jackie Landers reflected on the Strengthening Families Programme from an agency perspective and how this model has benefited the delivery of the programme in the region over the past 10 years. A young person and a parent who previously participated on the Strengthening Families Programme shared their personal experiences of the programme. Their testimonies were inspirational and so encouraging for professionals working in this field that the Strengthening Families Programme is a great resource for the families referred to our services.
The first Strengthening Families Programme in Ireland was delivered in St Nicolas Church Cork from January to April 2007. The Strengthening Families Programme is now delivered at a national level in many other areas of the country. Since 2007 the delivery of SFP has been most beneficial to over 400 families in the Cork & Kerry area. This is the result of individual members of the Cork & Kerry Steering Committees belief in, and commitment to, the programme. Working together from an interagency perspective has contributed to the successful rollout of the programme since its initiation.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in the 10 Year Celebration Event, from all our speakers on the day to all those who attended. We would also encourage agencies whose staff has been trained in the Strengthening Families Programme over the past 10 years to continue to support the programme by volunteering as Site Coordinators, Facilitators and Referral Agents so those families who are engaging with services can continue to participate in programmes.