On October 19th 2012, Ballymun Local Drugs Task Force convened a meeting of SFP Site Coordinators, Trainers and Managers from across Ireland, along with SFP Developer, Henry Whiteside (USA) , which established the National SFP Council. The Council was set up in response to an expanding implementation of SFP across the island of Ireland, coupled with an identified need for inter-regional collaboration, advocacy, and the promotion of quality standards and fidelity towards the progression of SFP in Ireland.

Terms of Reference:

1. Purpose

The SFP Council is a nationally representative body of multi-agency SFP Site Coordinators /Managers /Trainers established in consultation and agreement with LutraGroup USA, to collectively foster and develop a pool a SFP expertise in Ireland which will:

    • Promote SFP as an evidence-based approach to increase family protective factors and reduce risk factors.
    • Advocate for and advance the current allocation of resources (through funding or otherwise) for SFP to support its ongoing availability in Ireland, identified through a central national database of SFP site activity.
    • Review and collect international, national and local evidence / research which highlight the impact and process of SFP.
    • Liaise with LutraGroup USA/Alta Institute USA & the developers regarding Council activities.
    • Develop good practice guidance and resources in regards to SFP for dissemination to sites/SFP Network.
    • Explore and identify further opportunities for SFP development (including further research) in Ireland which would advance/complement the status, outcomes and process of implementation, evaluation, promotion and other areas deemed appropriate for progression in Ireland.
    • Gather information, where possible, regarding SFP implementation, training, master training, evaluations and other areas as appropriate.
    • Act as a learning resource between Council Members.
    • Actively review the development of SFP training & Master training.


2. Membership

    • Membership shall be voluntary and open to those SFP Site Coordinators/Managers/Trainers, who are working in an interagency capacity in their respective areas.
    • Members will be autonomous to make decisions relevant to their own SFP site.
    • Nominations for membership shall be brought to Council Members for consideration and ratification.
    • Membership shall not exceed a maximum of 20 and shall be reviewed on a year end basis.
    • The collective membership should include a range of sites geographically representative of SFP in Ireland, insofar as is possible.

 3. Principles of Participation & Engagement

The National SFP Council operates under the principles of interagency cooperation & practice, goodwill and voluntary engagement by agencies/organisations to support the development of SFP in Ireland. Members of the Council agree to respect this ethos where the resources, activities & learnings of the Council which may be used to support other areas in Ireland, shall be disseminated /applied with due regard, with prior clear agreement from Council members and Chair, and in good faith; without financial gain or profit.


4. Roles and Responsibilities

  • Active attendance and participation in meetings and subgroups and other correspondence is required to maintain membership.
    • Identify areas of need or progression in the best interest of SFP related matters.
    • Willingness to equally share learning and resources within and between the Council members relevant to SFP where appropriate and agreed.
    • Agree to respect the shared learning and resources and agree in advance material that can be used outside the Council or its remit.
    • Promote and advocate locally and nationally for SFP.
    • Any documents or representations (verbal or written) on behalf of the National SFP Council of Ireland, should be agreed in advance with the Chair of the Council.
    • Develop, agree, and disseminate (where appropriate) resources and materials which reflect the collective learning of SFP Council Members and which may be helpful for existing or emerging SFP sites.
    • Operate and implement a yearly strategic workplan.

5. Structure & Administration 

    • The role of the Chair of the National SFP Council includes:
      • Facilitating discussion and record highlighted decisions.
      • Setting agendas pre-meeting.
      • Pre-arranging a venue for meetings to take place.
      • Correspondence with relevant members regarding meetings, minutes, and other documents as needed.
    • A Vice-Chair will be appointed by members, who will replace the Chair in the event he/she is unavailable, and may provide further support to the Chairs’ activities where necessary.
    • A strategic workplan will be agreed each year with the Council members.
    • Ballymun Local Drugs & Alcohol Task Force will continue to provide administration and a budget for meetings/venues and necessary costs to continue the National SFP Council. This will be reviewed at the end of each year.

6. Meetings

  • Members shall be invited to attend quarterly meetings per year with all Council Members.
  • Four meeting dates for the year shall be arranged in advance in agreement with members.
  • Where members cannot or are unable to attend meetings, apologies should be forwarded to the Chair or Vice Chair in advance of the meeting.
  • Non attendance at Council or sub-group meetings, without apologies shall be followed up with contact by a Council Member, the Chair or Vice Chair to clarify their representation on the Council/relevant sub-group.
  • A quorum of 50% of active members +1 will be required for meetings and decisions.
  • Sub-groups of the Council shall be formed to address specific themed areas of identified need (e.g. where extensive work is needed to undertake the development/exploration of an area/suggestion and would be best worked out in a smaller group.)
    • The sub-group shall update the Council on discussions/deliberations, via direct meetings or email, depending on the pertinence of the issue being addressed.
    • Where proposals are presented to the Council, the Council Members will agree a recommendation for going forward.
  • To accommodate a geographical spread of Members, venues may rotate between the agencies present, on advanced agreement

7. Review and Evaluation

  • A review of the strategic plan will take place by Council Members at year end, documenting completed or ongoing areas of work.
  • Ongoing or new areas of work should be identified to plan for the following year.
  • Membership and roles will be reviewed at year end.


  Name Organisation
1 Donna Butler (Chairperson SFP National Council) Families Matter, Alcohol Forum
2 Anne Conroy Le Chéile, Mentoring and Youth Justice Support
3 Sunniva Finlay Ballyfermot STAR
4 Patsy Moran Addiction Response Crumlin
5  Marie Lawless & Roisin Byrne Ballymun LDATF
6 Thomas O’Donnell Tusla Child & Family Agency, Geraldstown House
7  Leona Scott Derry Healthy Cities
8  Valerie Scully / Patricia Levins Foróige (Tallaght SFP)
9 Joan Bolger Regional Framework Support Agency
10 Rosemary Fox (LutraTrainer) /
Gemma O’Leary (Vice Chairperson)
Young Persons Probation (Cork SFP)/
Cork Local Drugs & Alcohol Task Force
11 Joe Slattery/Maria Finn CSMT (Limerick)
12 Richie Stafford Finglas Cabra Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Force
13 Cathy Whelan / Patricia Egan Meath Community Drug and Alcohol Services (Meath SFP)
14 Miriam Galvin  Kerry ETB
15 Ciara Jubani Blanchardstown LDATF
16 Noel Loughran An Garda Síochana
17 Pádraig O’Donovan  Fóróige (Kildare SFP)