Tipperary Interagency Group Launches Results of Domestic Abuse Service Evaluation – TLC Kidz

Barnardos children’s charity has launched the positive results of an external evaluation of its TLC Kidz Service, a group – based service available to children and mothers who are in recovery from domestic abuse. With ongoing support from Tusla, the programme, hosted by Barnardos, has been delivered on an interagency basis in North Tipperary since 2005 and more recently in South Tipperary, Waterford and Carlow.

 

The 12 week programme aims to help children heal from the impact of domestic abuse, and help mothers understand their children’s experiences and support their recovery. Groups are run concurrently and promote the wellbeing of children and mothers through validating their experiences, safety planning, social support, teaching appropriate expression of difficult emotions, and enhancing communication between children and mothers.

 

The study evidenced a range of positive outcomes, corroborated by service users and families. These included:

  •  Breaking the silence and isolation regarding domestic abuse
  • Appropriate expression and regulation of difficult emotions (for example, anger, anxiety, sadness)
  • Knowing how to keep safe and able to identify acceptable and unacceptable behaviours
  • Warm, open mother-child relationships
  • Improved child confidence in peer and family interactions and ability to cope with everyday life
  • Improved school engagement and involvement with sports and social activities
  • Improved child physical health and emotional and behavioural wellbeing
  • Mothers more actively engaged in their community, for example, employment, starting new courses, engaging with services, and getting involved in social activities
  • Evidence of generalised benefits to siblings who had not attended the programme

Olive Carter, Barnardos Thurles said: “We are so happy to see these results which in reality mean that children and parents who avail of this service see a real improvement in their lives.  We saw further positive outcomes at a service and community level in North Tipperary due to the interagency model used to deliver this service, these outcomes including agencies having a higher awareness of the impact domestic abuse on children and a more considered and improved approach when working with children and parents”.

Jim Gibson, Chief Operations Officer, Tusla said: “Tusla – Child and Family Agency welcomes the positive outcomes of this report, and commends all agencies who together have worked to improve services and achieve the best possible outcomes for children and families”.

Dr Mairead Furlong – Lead researcher said: “This evaluation of TLC Kidz demonstrates a range of positive outcomes were reported by children and mothers at post-programme and in the years following the TLC Kidz programme. Children and mothers indicated that the programme helped them to: break the silence and isolation around domestic abuse; express and regulate difficult emotions; develop warmer, more open family relationships; have a safety plan; feel more confident and better able to cope; and become more involved with social and community activities.  It was a pleasure to work on this project and meet the wonderful children and families this service helped”.

 

The service is delivered on an interagency basis in order to create a common vision and shared responsibility among services. Partners include Ascend Domestic Abuse Service, North Tipperary Community Services, Health Service Executive (HSE), Adult Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Primary Care, Tusla Prevention, Partnership and Family Support (PPFS), Social Work and family support services, Tipperary Regional Youth Services, Barnardos, School Completion Programme, An Gardaí, Focus Ireland, and Men Overcoming Violence (MOVE) North Tipperary.

Read the executive summary here

For more information visit: www.barnardos.ie

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