Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Tusla hosts Educational Welfare Services Conference

A conference hosted by Tusla – Child and Family Agency today (7/4/2016) will explore the inter-relationship between education and welfare and how the two services can work together to achieve better outcomes for children. The delegates, representing statutory educational welfare service, the Home School Community Liaison Service, and the School Completion Programme, will hear presentations from child mental health experts and educationalists.

Eibhlin Byrne, Tusla Director of Educational Welfare Service, says:

“If we are to support children and young people in  leading healthy, successful lives there are few more effective ways than ensuring that we support their capacity to attend school and, even more importantly, ensuring that they are full participants in the educational experience.

“School attendance is a complex dynamic which requires nuanced strategies for those groups of students or individual students whose educational pathways have become disrupted. Not only do many children and young people have complex personal needs and may face significant challenges such as homelessness and cultural barriers.

“This conference is the beginning of a conversation about how educational and welfare services can best work together to maximise our supports for children and families who need them.

“Tusla is determined to maximise resources available to it to ensure that all children are enabled to benefit from an education.  By ensuring that all professionals involved in a child’s life work together we are greatly enhancing their capacity to fulfil their potential and to maximise their life chances.”

Speakers at the conference include Dr Patricia Graczyk, University of Illinois; Professor Tom Collins, chair of the Governing Body of DIT and IT Blanchardstown; Professor Anne O’Gara, president of Marino Institute of Education; and Dr. Tony Bates, founder of Headstrong.

Tusla Chief Executive, Fred McBride, says:

“The inclusion of educational welfare under Tusla’s remit means we are uniquely placed to offer a full range of services along the continuum of care, recognising the strengths and contribution of children, of families, of schools and of communities. 

“Tusla believes that an important intervention is the inclusive school. This is why attendance, participation and retention in full time education are embedded in service delivery for all children under Tusla’s Corporate Plan.”

ENDS

Notes:

Eibhlin Byrne – Director Educational Welfare Services Tusla is available for interview.

The conference is being held in the Round Room at the Mansion House from 9:45 – 16:30

Contact

Sharon Waters/Aoife Greene 087 6348373

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