Thursday, 17 November 2022
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, provides family support services, through both internal Tusla family support provision and the commissioning of services through its community and voluntary sector partners. Specific and targeted interventions for families are delivered by Tusla and Tusla-funded services.
Under Tusla's Prevention, Partnership and Family Support Programme, 121 Child and Family Support Networks (CFSNs) have been set up across the country. The networks help to support integrated and co-ordinated supports for children, young people and families at local community level. Members of CFSNs come from a variety of agencies and local community and voluntary services such as primary care, social work, early years’ services, sports clubs, youth probation services, schools, etc. A CFSN can provide support to a family, as single-agency help or multi-agency working, where that does not require structured coordination. Such support may be required for families at any level of need.
A family can also access support through a Meitheal, which is the Tusla-led early intervention national practice model that is a case co-ordination process for families with additional needs who require multi-agency intervention but who do not meet the threshold for referral to the Social Work Department within Tusla under Children First. Meitheal is facilitated at the CFSN level. Families can access this support by directly initiating a Meitheal with the local CFSN, or a Meitheal can be initiated as part of a step-down approach from Social Work.
Tusla's Education Support Service includes Educational Welfare Officers who are based throughout the country. Parents can contact their local Educational Welfare Officer for help and advice. Contact details for are available on Tusla's website.