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FRC's supporting children and families after Covid-19

This report documents the findings of research conducted on behalf of the FRC National Forum and the HSE on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and families and the impact of Recovery and Resilience-funded therapeutic supports and services delivered in Family Resource Centres (FRCs). The 83 FRCs that engaged with this funding opportunity have been able to grow their therapeutic support service, with 4,548 children and 3,820 adults benefiting overall, resulting in 71% of FRCs reporting a decrease in waiting lists nationwide. 

This research highlights the pandemic's impact on younger children during a challenging and crucial developmental phase for many. It underscores the importance of prevention and early intervention, which guide the evolution of the FRC Programme Model through a dynamic commitment to continuous improvement.

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Read the full report here

As the Interim Report for our Recovery and Resilience Project illustrates, the provision of counselling and therapeutic assistance within the Family Resource Centre National Programme underscores a commitment to a human rights-based strategy for community development and family support across all stages of life.

The approach to delivering counselling and therapeutic services via FRCs emphasises the significance of place, community, accessibility and belonging. This approach is distinct from traditional methods of providing such support and showcases the unique value of embedding these services within broader community initiatives.

Integrating counselling and therapeutic services with a range of other supports, including early years care and education, lifelong learning, preventative family assistance, social prescribing, support for older individuals, youth development, and community development, creates accessibility, notable compatibility and synergy.

The completion of the Recovery and Resilience Project, alongside this research, has empowered the FRC National Forum to actively support FRCs in directly delivering counselling and therapeutic aid to children, families, and communities in need. Furthermore, it has laid the groundwork for establishing a cohesive and standardized National FRC Programme of Counseling and Therapeutic Supports through the development and implementation of an FRC Therapeutic Framework.

The challenge of securing core funding for FRCs and their counselling and therapeutic services persists. The insights and recommendations derived from this report will guide the efforts of the FRC National Forum (FRCNF) in addressing this funding challenge. The FRCNF remains steadfast in securing adequate, sustainable funding from the Government for these essential preventative supports, enabling FRCs to focus on identifying and addressing their communities' emerging needs through a human rights-based approach to community development.

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