Family life is not always easy. Life events like birth, death, depression, redundancy, separation, illness, abuse or financial problems can all put stress and strain on family life and relationships. Family Support Services can help. Simply having someone to talk to about your problem can be the easiest way to begin to deal with your problem.
Tusla and our funded partners provide a range of early intervention supports that are available in communities across Ireland to help families to overcome parenting challenges. These services include Meitheal, the Parenting24seven.ie website, Parenting Support Champions, Family Resource Centres, Creative Community Alternatives, and funding for child and youth participation, and parenting projects. If you would like to speak with someone about family support, contact your local PPFS office.
‘Meitheal’ is an old Irish term for neighbours coming together to help and support each other in the saving of crops or in other tasks.
In a Meitheal, a lead practitioner will identify a child’s and their family’s needs and strengths and then bring together a ‘team around the child’. Through regular meetings, the team will deliver support that is planned and focused on the child’s developmental needs. The child and their family are fully involved and participating in this process at all stages.
Meitheal can be used when a family will benefit from more than one type of support, in other words, when a range of skills and approaches would be useful to improve the wellbeing of a child, and their family. The process enables practitioners in different organisations and agencies to communicate and work together effectively.
Examples of the challenges and issues that Meitheal can help with include:
- A child having problems in school
- A child feeling down
- A child suffering from illness or a bereavement
- A child exhibiting challenging behaviour