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Family Support and Crisis Intervention Service (FSCIS): Making Links and Sharing Learning

Kevin Burn (FSCIS Manager)

The Family Support and Crisis Intervention Service is a multi-disciplinary team of Social Workers, Family Support Workers and Addiction Counsellors. As a service we are fully committed to working closely with partner agencies and using these links to feed in to our commitment to Continuous Professional Development for all of our staff members. This is something that we have had great success at over the past six months.

Our team have been out delivering presentations and sharing expertise with among other groups, Trinity College Dublin, TUSLA Social Work Departments and Trinity Court Drug Treatment Services. We have also had services in to speak to our department including Future Voices and Coolmine Therapeutic Community. These have been overwhelmingly positive experiences of increased learning as well as the opportunity to share what our service does and what we can offer to external partners in joint up working. This type of working is at the heart of what Exchange House Ireland does and is fundamental to the promotion of equity for the Traveller Community when dealing with all services.

One service we have made new links with over the last six months is The Independent Guardian Ad Litem Agency. As a service we were part of the working group for their conference in March 2016 entitled ‘Getting it Right: Caring for Children from Ethnic Minority Backgrounds in Alternative Care’. We provided our expertise regarding the specific cultural needs that should be considered for members of the Traveller community in care settings and the challenges that still need to be fundamentally addressed regarding policy. Sarah Murray and Kevin Burn gave a presentation on this subject at the conference. Following this two of our Social Workers also attended the June 2016 conference entitled ‘Getting it Right – Responding to Children who Disclose Sexual Abuse”.

Feedback from the two Social workers who attended was extremely positive:

“The conference was highly informative and involved various speakers and professionals working from very different backgrounds, but all with one goal in mind; that of facilitating child centred practice.”

“The day promoted shared understanding of best practice and was delivered by health, social care, legal and justice sector professionals. All of the speakers on the day had extensive experience in direct work with children.”

As a service we recognise the importance of continuous professional development in order to make sure we are delivering the best possible services to our clients in the Traveller community. We also recognise the expertise we have and the importance of sharing that expertise with other agencies in order to improve all services for Travellers.



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