The child and family support networks research study
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Cassidy, A., Rodriguez, L., and Devaney, C. (2018) The Child and Family Support Networks Research Study. Galway: UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, National University of Ireland Galway.
Child and Family Support Networks (CFSNs) are multi-agency networks that are in the process of being established in each Tusla Integrated Service Area (ISA).1 Their purpose is to support Tusla’s aim of developing an ‘integrated service delivery’ framework (Gillen et al., 2013: 14) for working with families. A number of these networks have been created in each ISA (ideally a network should be developed per 30,000–50,000 inhabitants) with either virtual or physical hubs, such as Family Resource Centres, at their core. These partnership-based networks are open to any service that has an input into families’ lives, including Tusla staff as well as other statutory organisations and community and voluntary agencies. The model’s goals are to work with families to ensure that there is ‘No Wrong Door’2 and that services are available to support them as locally as possible. It also has a role in supporting the development of the Meitheal model. In the context of this report, Meitheal refers to an Irish early intervention and prevention practice model that is used when children and young people need support around, for example, behavioural issues or emotional needs, but do not meet the threshold for an intervention by Tusla’s Child Protection and Welfare (CPW) service. Further details on this model are provided in section 1.4.