The importance of family life cannot be underestimated. Healthy relationships within the family are essential to the well-being of children and adults, as well as society in general. No family is perfect but some face enormous stresses and strains which, without some outside help and support, can be harmful to the children and adults involved. For this reason, Sligo Social Services has and continues to be committed to supporting the most vulnerable families within our society.
Our services work with families who are seeking support in relation to a range of issues including parenting, childcare, relationship difficulties, domestic abuse, addiction and mental health issues. We provide the following services to families and children
It is widely accepted that quality provision in the area of early education has a very positive impact on the future educational, psychological and social development of every child.
Good quality early education can also help to level the playing pitch for children from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds.
It can be of critical importance also in efforts to encourage long-term educational participation, to break the cycle of disadvantage and to move towards greater equity in society.
The pre-school centre offers the Aistear, Early Childhood Curriculum. The curriculum has been developed and implemented nationally in partnership with the Office of the Minister for Children and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.
Sligo Social Service Council CLG recognises the importance of early education and in this regard is involved in running a targeted Preschool Centre at Charles Street.
Sligo Social Services also operates two Afterschool Projects, one at Cranmore Abbeyquarter Community Centre and one at St. Edward’s School, Ballytivnan.
The Afterschool service caters for primary school aged children. While engaged with the service, the children receive support and encouragement in doing their homework, within a safe and friendly environment where they can also take part in a wide range of fun and creative activities. The Afterschool Project runs activities during out of school periods within the academic year and offers a summer camp in July.
Sligo Social Services has been offering a counselling service for many years. Initially, the service was funded by the Family Support Agency, and the work of the service focussed on adults experiencing difficulties in relation to a couple relationship, or the bereavement of a family member. In due course, the Family Support Agency became part of TUSLA Child & Family Agency, and with this change, the work began to focus more on the needs of families and young people.
Following a networking meeting with our colleagues in other services, Sligo Social Services identified a need for professional counselling for young people experiencing emotional difficulties e.g. anxiety, low mood, or family related difficulties such as illness, bereavement or relationship breakdown.
The Counselling Service primarily responds to the counselling needs of young people between the ages of 13 and 18 years. There is also a small number of hours available for adults, who are themselves parents of children under the age of 18 years.
The Refugee Support & Resettlement Service provides support to Syrian families who have been forced to flee their country because of the war there and have moved to Sligo under the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Programme. The Support & Resettlement Worker and the Interpreter/Translator/Intercultural Worker support the families as they begin their new lives in Sligo.
The work involves ensuring that the families have access to the various services they may require, and that they are linked to various networks locally, to maximise their integration into their communities. The work also involves linking in with local services and communities, where necessary, to support them to promote the inclusion of Syrian families.
This is a time-limited service and will end in March 2019.