2023 Parents Plus Annual Report:

As we look back on 2023, we would like to acknowledge the impact made possible with the services we work with, across mental health, disability, family support, education and youth services.

Through building the capacity of these services to improve outcomes for families by training and supervising their teams to deliver and evaluate our evidence-based parenting and mental health programmes, we continue, together, to ensure that families can avail of proven parenting support, at their point of need, and in the their local communities.

Together, we have continued to deliver on our mission, and we look forward to even greater impact in the future.

I am pleased to present Parents Plus Annual Report 2023, which is an important opportunity to look back at 2023, spotlight our charity’s key achievements and activities, and acknowledge the challenges facing our sector.

As a small Irish charity, with over 25 years’ experience researching and developing evidence based parenting and mental health interventions for services supporting families, I am incredibly proud of the invaluable work and collective commitment of Parents Plus team, and voluntary board of trustees, to deliver on our mission to improve outcomes for children, adolescents and their families, by empowering professionals to deliver and evaluate our programmes through their services in local communities. Without you, none of this life changing work would be possible.

Our model of developing tailored parenting and mental health interventions in partnership with services and families for services and families, means that teams are better equipped to work collaboratively with parents to achieve the outcomes they define for their family, with our proven programmes, supervision, evaluation and outcome tracking. Indeed, our model of reinvesting all profits made from sale of our professional parenting and mental health intervention packages into development of new programmes to respond to the evolving needs of families, and in sponsorship of services with limited funding, to train in our programmes, emphasises our steadfast commitment to working together with community, mental health, disability and education services, to improve outcomes for families.

I would like to extend a special thank you to our funders of 2023 including The Community Foundation Ireland and The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal, An Pobal and The JP Mc Manus Benevolent Fund. We are extremely grateful for your support, which enables us to continue to provide our evidence-based and subsidised services at affordable rates to services supporting families, children and adolescents.

Building on the work done in 2022 to increase the impact of Parents Plus charity, and guided by Parents Plus Strategic Plan 2022 – 2025, developed in partnership with Rethink Ireland, 2023 was an extremely busy year for Parents Plus with the charity working with over 900 professionals across the community, mental health, disability and education sectors. The charity trained over 740 professionals in the delivery of our suite of evidence-based programmes and provided supervision and implementation support to 283 practitioners. We also delivered seminars to a range of professionals across Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS), disability, family support and education, in key areas such as ‘Improving outcomes for children with ADHD by empowering parents’, and master classes in Solution-Focused Groupwork.

A significant milestone in 2023 was the announcement in December of Parents Plus three year partnership with the HSE. The partnership with HSE Disability Division, will see our charity work with the 92 Children’s Disability Network teams (CDNTs) and provide our proven trainings and implementation support for 160 practitioners over the next three years, to build their capacity to improve outcomes for families with evidence-based parenting support, the Parents Plus Early Years Programme and Special Needs Programme, as well as provision of tailored workshops on the Parents Plus Solution Focused Model of working with families, and supervision, accreditation and evaluation support.

Other notable milestones of 2023 include the continued RTÉ Toy Show Appeal transformative grant funded delivery of online Parents Plus programmes to families via Parentline, ADHD Ireland and the Midwest Parenting When Separated Project, as well as the JP McManus Benevolent funded training and supervision of services in Limerick and Clare in the delivery of the Parents Plus Special Needs and Early Years Programmes.

2023 saw Parents Plus charity continue to build the capacity of a wide range of public and community and voluntary sector organisations to improve outcomes for families and children, including the TUSLA Traveller Project, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) to roll out the Adolescents and Working Things Out programmes in secondary schools, and supporting the Tavistock and Relate services in the UK to deliver the Parenting when Separated Programme.

The charity also continued to invest in infrastructure to support growing the impact of our evidence-based services, including investment in HR consultancy, external governance review, PR expertise, SORP reporting, and salesforce functionality, all continuing to enhance delivery of high standards of governance and regulatory requirements, as well as our purpose and mission.

Without question, as with all services in the charitable sector, the economies we are working in remain challenging. Many of the services we worked with in the UK in 2023 experienced significant budget cuts. Parents Plus also experienced the challenges of rising costs to deliver our services across, for example, print and distribution. Nonetheless, the need for our services has increased considerably, and the charity has observed gradual recovery and steady progress.

As a member of the Parents Plus team since 2019 I was proud to accept the position of CEO of this invaluable charity in June 2023. The issue of inequitable access to proven parenting interventions for parents raising children, via services in their local communities, remains a challenge. However, as we embark on 2024, we are confident that as a team, and with the services we support, we can and will collectively make a significant positive impact in driving our mission forward and achieve our vision of a country where families in need have access to proven and tailored parenting tools from the services they turn to, in their communities, early on in their journey, improving their outcomes and preventing difficulties arising.