The National SFP Council of Ireland commits to undertaking the support and development of the Strengthening Families Programme across the island of Ireland.  Our focus includes Training; Research & Evaluation; and information & advocacy for SFP and family based prevention. Some brief details below:

 1) Training for Strengthening Families:

A panel of trainers have re-developed and adapted the standard 2-day SFP training to Ireland’s needs with the support of LutraGroup/Alta Institute. The National Council trainers are committed to supporting and delivering training for communities, on a not -for-profit basis. This is on the basis that the SFP Implementation coincides with the principles of the NSFPC.. The 2-day training is a necessary pre-requisite for all individuals (agency representatives or volunteers) who wish to deliver the programme, or coordinate an SFP Site. In some communities, it is also a pre-requisite for those intending to refer families to the programme. Please check with your local community to understand their policies. 

What’s involved in the NSFPC Training?

Although the 2-days is not a training in facilitation skills (as those wishing to facilitate the programme are expected to have some experience in group work, and/or with parents/ teens/ children/ families ), the course will contextualise SFP in Irish policy; explore the evidence base and research regarding family based prevention & SFP; and finally will give participants an opportunity to use the manuals Requests for training can be brought to Cliodhna Mahony, Chair of the NSFPC, on

Becoming an SFP Trainer: 

To become an affiliated National SFP Council Trainer, the following criteria and steps must be completed: 

  1.  Complete the 2-day SFP Training
  2. Involved in 3 x interagency, community implementations.
  3. Involved in delivering 3 x two-day trainings with at least one NSFPC Trainer:
    • First time delivering: the trainee delivers one-quarter of training.
    • Second time delivering: trainee delivers one-half of training.
    • Third time delivering: trainee delivers one-half of training (not covered in second time delivery)
    • Your assigned NSFPC Trainer will offer feedback and record the process.
    • Certificate of Quality from the NSFPC of Ireland as certified SFP Trainer.
  4. Agreement and consent from your Line Manager / Agency, where applicable, to be released for the training dates, and to undertake the delivery of training in your area with ongoing communication with the NSFPC.

Further information on SFP training can be found here.

 2) Research & Evaluation:

Gathering, building and collating evidence is of paramount consideration for the NSFPC. In order to sustain and validate SFP, evaluations (local and national) and related research can provide key pieces of information to support our growing understanding of the outcomes for families & communities. In this regard the NSFPC:
  • Collaborated on the first  teen gender analysis in Ireland (2008-2014)  with Karol Kumpfer, and Keely- Coffrin Allen. The NSFPC presented these results at the 2014 EUSPR International Conference on drug prevention in Palma Mallorca. Findings will be presented in document form shortly.
  • Support the ongoing gathering of local data in Ireland including impacts and outcomes, evaluation methodologies, funding sources, and other relevant information to ensure the Irish experience is accurately understood.
  • Explore opportunities for further research methodologies, or tools which may be useful to communities.

Take a look at our Reports section to see evaluations internationally, nationally, and locally.


 3) Development & Advocacy:

Supporting interagency, community implementation of the Strengthening Families Programme across Ireland to further its development. :
  • Deliver SFP training to communities across Ireland.
  • Present data, evidence and information on SFP at international and national conferences, most recently the “Supporting Parents” conference in Dublin Castle (February 2015).
  • Advocate with stakeholders for funding and ongoing sustainability of SFP in Ireland. (A submission to the “What Works in Family Support” document by Tusla).
  • Support communities in developing helpful policies and procedures around SFP implementation, and the linking with national guidelines and policies, such as Meitheal.