Transgender Awareness in the School Environment
When schools have knowledge, confidence and skills to accommodate different gender identities in the classroom, young people achieve better outcomes.
This was central message of a recent conference held in Waterford around ‘Transgender Awareness in Schools’. The conference was a joint initiative between the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and Waterford Children and Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC) and funded by Healthy Ireland. It was attended by principals, teachers, support personnel, psychologists, community workers and youth workers. Over 180 people attended this very successful event which provided much thought provoking and practical information from professionals in the field.
Vanessa Lacey, Health and Education Manager with Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) said: “TENI’s approach to trans issues is a holistic one and includes advocating for legislative reform, improved health care outcomes, a compassionate educational environment and direct support for families. Facilitating a change in social attitudes to trans people and their families is also an integral part of this ‘wrap-around’ approach”.
The conference was opened by Kayden, a young person who is driven to make change for young people in the region and at national level. His contribution highlighting the life experience of young Trans people and provided insight and context to a day focused on promoting inclusion and the development of a supportive environment within the education sector.
Speakers at the conference included: Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Aileen Murtagh, discussing Gender Variance and Dysphoria: Associated Mental Health and Medical Issues; Dr Michael Redmond of the Joint Managerial Body for Voluntary Secondary Schools on Supporting Transgender Students at Secondary School – Pastoral, Ethos and Policy; and Dr Aoife Neary of the School of Education, University of Limerick, who presented the findings from her research – Gender transitions in Primary schools, the first report regarding the experiences of parents and teachers. Catherine Cross, Family Support and Education Officer, TENI and Dr. Tanya Ni Mhuirtle, DCUp
The Snuggle Stories initiative is an interagency project of Waterford CYPSC. In 2019 the project undertook an external evaluation. The initiative encourages parents to spend time reading with their babies and young children.
Click on the link below to read more.
Embedding Inclusive Policy and Practice in Waterford CYPSC
Waterford CYPSC has worked with the Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency (DESSA) between 2017 and 2019.
Workshops and training have been delivered which have resulted in the formulation of the Waterford CYPSC Disability Inclusion Framework. A number of staff also attended an accredited training programme entitled Capacity for Inclusion.
It gave practitioners the capacity and competence to understand the key factors that impact on a disabled child or young person’s access to equal opportunities in Irish life leading to their increased independence, social and community participation. It also sought to develop a co-ordinated approach in enhancing capacity and competence in prevention and early intervention for children and young people with disabilities and their families by developing a shared understanding of inclusion and disability equality.
Click here to read the Disability Inclusion Framework. Disability Inclusion Framework PDF
Additional training is planned on Inclusive Communication and Inclusive Consultation.
National Data and Information Hub
Tusla and the DCYA have established a new Project ‘Outcomes for Children National Data & Information Hub’ –offering a sustainable opportunity to provide a national standardised technical solution for mapping outcomes and indicators for children and young people.
This project involved the building of an interactive area based geo mapping system to provide information for policy makers, service providers, TUSLA management, practitioners, information managers and local communities so that planning and delivery of services are informed by the best available data.
The address of the hub is : outcomes4children.tusla.ie
Quick Reference Guide for using the Data Hub: Data Hub – Quick Reference Guide Dec 2018 v1
This guide aims to provide a quick reference to assist users to :
- navigate through the hub and access required data;
- gain the skills necessary to source and use the data under each of the 5 National Outcomes of Better Outcomes Brighter Futures (BOBF);
- identify and source relevant local area data as required;
- understand reporting functionality.
Newsletter Wateford CYPSC – Summer 2018
The Summer Newsletter contains information on the activities and priorities of Waterford CYPSC. The Healthy Ireland Just Grow project is highlighted and plans for the next round of Healthy Ireland Fund. Find out more about the Investing in children award and an update on actions in the Children and Young Peoples Plan.
Please click on this link: Summer 2018 newsletter
New Sub Group Formed focusing on the needs of 18 – 24 Year Olds.
Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, 2014 – 2020 sets out key commitments to children and young people up to the age of 24. The Waterford CYPSC Children and Young People’s Plan was completed before the move to include young people up to 24. A sub group has now been formed to address this gap. Focus Ireland is Chairing the group which has membership from the WSTCYS, Treo, HSE Substance Misuse Team, Tusla Aftercare, Dept of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, HSE Adult Mental Health, Transgender Equality Network Ireland and Waterford Area Partnership.
Outcomes Based Accountability Training and National Data and Information Hub
CYPSC members from Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow attended two days training on Outcomes-Based Accountability (OBA)TM in February 2018. The Institute of Public Care (IPC), which is part of Oxford Brookes University in England, delivered this training for the eleven CYPSCs that are part of the first phase of implementation of the National Data and Information Hub.
OBATM is a disciplined way of thinking, planning and taking action that we can use to improve the lives of children and families and the performance of services and programmes. Sometimes called Results-based AccountabilityTM (RBA) in the USA, RBA or OBA has been used extensively over two decades in many countries, and in at least 11 languages, at every level of government.
The two-day training programme provided a basic understanding of the OBATM model, gave opportunities to apply its frameworks to some of the issues we are addressing and helped us to think through how we might use the approach to improve our use of data and information and secure better outcomes for local people.
The interactive area based geo-mapping system will provide information to inform policy and practice around the delivery of services. It is currently being piloted and will be launched nationally by the DCYA and Tusla in the Autumn.
Newsletter Wateford CYPSC – Summer 2017
The Summer Newsletter contains information on the activities and priorities of Waterford CYPSC. The work of the Family Support sub group is highlighted. The work undertaken with children and young people in highlighting the importance of participation is outlined. Also included are features Healthy Ireland, news in brief and a regional workshop on the role of the Domestic and Gender Based Violence Service.
Please click on this link: CYPSC Waterford Summer Newsletter
Embedding Inclusive Policy and Practice in Waterford CYPSC
Members of Waterford CYPSC and additional agencies completed a number of workshops facilitated by the Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency (DESSA) in Autumn ’17. Thirteen individuals from eight agencies attended. Out of this work a disability inclusion framework policy was presented to the CYPSC committee in Spring ’18 for discussion and adoption. On the basis of this work DESSA sought funds from the DCYA Innovation Fund to develop the work further and this was successful. This work will be developed in Autumn ’18.
Guidelines for Referral to Child and Youth Mental Health Services
An updated information poster providing guidelines on referral to child and youth mental health services is now available to agencies and the public. This has been a widely welcomed initiative of the Child & Youth Mental Health Sub Group. It provides information on referral pathways to mental health supports and services. Please contact Julie, CYPSC Co-ordinator if your service does not receive a copy
CYPSC Survey & Consultation with Parents
In May 2017 parents were asked to complete a survey so that CYPSC could get a better understanding of how to develop ways for people to get information about parenting. 212 parents completed the online survey and 44 parents participated in focus groups. This work helped in the production of a report called Celebrate Parenting with Parents in Sept. The Family Support Sub Group will now look at how to implement the ideas and findings from this consultation with parents.Celebrating Parenting Report – 2017
Newsletter Wateford CYPSC – Spring 2017
The Spring Newsletter contains information on the activities and priorities of Waterford CYPSC. The work of the Mental Health sub group is highlighted. The importance of including children and young people in our work is outlined. Also included are features on the Ferrybank CFSN, Snuggle Stories and Transitions.
Please follow this link CYPSC Spring 2017 ed1
Snuggle Stories – showcase
In December 2016 the Family Support Working Group and the Snuggle Stories task group had an opportunity to showcase the Snuggle Stories initiative. This is an action under CYPSC, which encourages parents and children to snuggle up and get comfortable reading and rhyming together. Each pack, which is distributed by Public Health Nurses, includes free books and free library membership. During the event a parent and grandparent spoke of their personal experience of using the snuggle book pack and the enjoyment it gave both themselves and their children. This has been a very successful interagency project which brought together the HSE, Waterford Childcare Committee, Respond, the Sacred Heart Family Resource Centre, Foroige, WWETB, Waterford City and County Council and TUSLA under the CYPSC umbrella and put in place an additional support for families with young children. 2017 hopes to see further development of the initiative. Snuggle Stories Presentation.
Directory of Services – CYPSC Website
Waterford CYPSC website was launched in late 2016. The website brings together information on a range of services available for children, young people and families in Waterford, including mental health support for children and young people; health services for children, young people and families; education and training opportunities; and help and support for families. It is hoped the website can be built on on the coming year to become a resource for those working with families and keeping up to date with CYPSC news.
Update your Information
Waterford CYPSC launches Children and Young Peoples Plan
In the Central Library in Waterford the Children and Young Peoples Services Committee launched its Plan (2016-2018). The overall purpose of Children and Young People’s Services Committees is to ensure better outcomes for children and young people around the country through enhanced co-ordination of local services and organisations. The plan is available to download on the About Us page with additional background information on Waterford CYPSC. Newspaper Article.