Developing an Intra-University All-Ireland Child and Family Welfare Network

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Building on the concept of shared learning the Child and Family Research Centre in National University of Ireland has established a triad collaboration in conjunction with the Children's Research Centre in Trinity College, Dublin and the Institute for Child Care Research in Queens University, Belfast. The network holds a series of three collaborative multi-disciplinary, multi-agency events annually hosted. The event which has been running since November 2005 is aimed at practionners, managers, policy makers and academics working or interested in the area of children and families wellbeing and provides a forum for thematic discussion on contemporary practice and theory.The events aim to allow for discussion, dissemination of information, shared learning and networking with the ultimate aim of improving outcomes for children and families This paper will endeavour to give a description of the development and implementation, charting some of the perceived outcomes of the initiative while introducing some of the challenges in working in this collaborative way.


Keywords: Child and Family Welfare, Collaboration, Intra University, Shared Learning
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Carmel Devaney

Academic Course Coordinator and Researcher, Child and Family Research Centre,
Department of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Ms Carmel Devaney, BA, MA is Course Co-Ordinator of the Higher Diploma/Masters Degree in Family Support Studies and Researcher within the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI, Galway. Carmel graduated from the first MA in Family Support programme in 2005. At a practice level, she has worked for many years in frontline children’s services and as Manager of a Springboard Community Family Support Service. She has particular interest in practice and service development in Family Support and is currently completing research in this regard. Co-presenter: Catherine Carty is a graduate of DIT (B.A. Social Care) and Trinity College, Dublin (Advanced Diploma in Child Protection and Welfare. Catherine has worked for the past 24 years in a variety of roles including the disability services, children's residential care – both generic and community based, girls detention service, community child care and as National Director of the Irish Association of Young People in Care. She participated in working groups for many policy initiatives with both Statuatory Organisations and NGOs. Catherine is currently a Doctoral Fellow in NUI Galway based in the Child and Family Research Centre and her area of research is the factors influencing the evolution of policy pertaining to children's residential care in Ireland since 1970. Co- presenter Ms. Berni Smyth was conferred with a Masters in Family Support Studies by NUI, Galway in 2005. Her research explored the perceived social support networks of adolescent refugees and asylum seekers. She is a qualified teacher with a background in theatre, specializing in developmental arts projects with disadvantaged groups. In recent years her work has been primarily with adolescents and currently co-ordinates a support service for adolescent refugees and asylum seekers living in Galway City.

Ref: I08P0270