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Key updates on NFSN’s work this year

This year's Annual Work Conference was a huge success, with over 300 attendees. The speakers, chaired by Anna Lee, were Sadie Grace, Minister Catherine Byrne, Tony Geoghegan, and Dr. Declan Cooken, and were enjoyed by all. Our workshops and holistic therapies were very successful, particulary the workshops delivered by Dr. Declan Coogan, Anna Quigley, and Alice Murray. If anyone would like to have a copy of the slides from the speakers or workshops, please contact the office. We'd like to thank you all for making it another successful conference, and we're looking forward to next year already.

As part of our welcome packs this year, we included a brief update on some key parts of our work this year, and we'd like to share it here to provide a small peek into all of the work achieved by our small team.

Key updates on NFSN's work this year

Development Work:

  • Visited over 30 family support groups and facilitators around Ireland, providing developmental support, peer supervision and advocacy.

  • Delivered 5 Young Person’s Support Programme information sessions with four ten-week Young Person's Support Programmes being run in Youth/Community projects around Ireland

  • Held two Facilitators' Network meetings

  • Held two meetings of family member reps on Task Forces

  • Supported over 100 family members through our helpline

  • Ran two Bereavement Support Programmes with the financial support of our partners in Tusla

  • Assisted in developing new family support coordinator positions with our colleagues in the HSE and local Task Forces in areas which did not previously have these services including; Dublin 15 and the North West Region Drug & Alcohol Task Force

  • Organised respite days and weekends for over 60 family members affected by substance misuse

Policy and Research Work:

  • Attended all of the National Oversight Committee Meetings of the National Drus Strategy (which take place four times a year) and all of the Standing Sub-Committee Meetings (which takeplace once a month) advocating for actions relating to families

  • Developed and launched a first of its kind report with Dr Sharon Lambert which examined the impact of drug related deaths on families

  • Secured the funding for a ‘Bereavement Support Worker’ position in the North Inner City, the first of its kind.

  • Through the NDRIC protocols process developed a family needs assessment in partnership with Dr Richard Vellemen, currently piloting this assessment in Dublin 15 and in the South East.

  • Conducted an evaluation of our Drug Related Intimidation Programme, with funding support from the Drugs Policy Unit and field work from Daniel O’Callaghan from University College Cork. This evaluation will inform changes to the training and workings of the Programme into next year.

  • Developed and Submitted our policy submission on Kinship Care to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs as part of the review of the Child Care Act.

  • Supported over 30 families caring for children as a result of parental drug use to access information, legal support and the guardianship payment.

  • Held meetings with the Governor of Dóchas Prison in preparation for a project with the prison next year to reach out to visiting families.


  • Delivered 5 training sessions on our Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme with our colleagues in the National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and assisted over 40 families experiencing drug related intimidation

  • Trained 75 practitioners in the 5-Step Method Intervention

  • Assisted in the planning and organising of this year’s International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31st which saw people who use drugs being trained in how to use Naloxone in Dublin, Limerick and Cork.

This is only a small section of the vast work NFSN and its members do each year, and will form the basis of much work in the years to come.

Contact Us

National Family Support Network
5 Gardiner Row, Dublin 1, Ireland

Phone: +353 (01) 8980148
Fax: +353 (01) 8889628
Email: info@fsn.ie
Web: www.fsn.ie

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