The Family Resource Centre Programme delivers universal services to families in areas of disadvantage throughout the country. Each Family Resource Centre (FRC) operates autonomously, working inclusively with individuals and families in their communities, as well as statutory and non-statutory agencies.
Individual FRCs can differ significantly, as they are established on a community basis. Services offered by FRCs across the country can vary considerably as a result, depending on the size of the centre, local demographics, level of service usage, and the extent of other local services.
Services provided by Family Resource Centres may include:
- Provision of information, advice and support to children and families;
- Community groups to meet local needs, such as childcare facilities, after-school clubs, parent and toddler groups, men's sheds, etc.;
- Provision of free or low-cost counselling and support to individuals and groups;
- Access to information technology for members of the local community;
- Collaboration with social workers and family support services, often through Tusla's Meitheal model;
- Delivery of educational courses and training opportunities;
- Facilitation of family mediation services and child contact services.
While not every area has access to a Family Resource Centre, Tusla funds local family support services for children and families throughout the country. Such services include parenting programmes and supports, Educational Welfare services, and community-based counselling services. My Department also currently funds the Area Based Childhood (ABC) Programme, which provides targeted family support services in areas of disadvantage.
It is important that the needs of children and families are met in the best way possible, particularly in areas of disadvantage. I will continue to support the work of Family Resource Centres and family support services throughout the country.