We’ve had a busy couple of weeks here at DHR Communications, preparing and managing a major annual event for the Family Resource Centre National Forum (FRCNF). The organisation, which you can read a case study about here, held the launch of it’s annual Speak report in Dublin on 11th July last, with Family Resource Centres all over the country attending.
The event was officiated by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald TD (pictured above), with further speaking contributions from the FRCNF Chairperson Claire Dineen and Family Support Agency chairperson Sharon Foley. The report launch was also a chance for Family Resource Centres to get in touch with their local TDs and/or Senators with the aim of updating them on the vital work of the FRCs in combating disadvantage and improving the functioning of the family unit. With more than 80 TDs, Senators, and their representatives attending the event, FRC co-ordinators left the launch pleased to have gotten their message across to their local politicians.
While the report found an increase in demand for the services of FRCs around the country, it also notice a change in the type of services being of use to the public, as many come to grips with the long-term effects of the economic downturn. According to Claire Dineen: “At the outset of the recession in 2008, Family Resource Centres were heavily involved in supporting jobseekers with CV preparation and information about welfare entitlements.
“However, the nature of people’s engagement with us has shifted. While there is still a demand for jobseeker support, many people are now looking to us for ways to connect with their community. In particular, people are seeking to be involved in initiatives such as men’s sheds and support groups for people in long-term unemployment or with mental health issues.”
The full 2011 Speak report can be read here, while a press release on the key points of the report can be found here. To keep updated on the work of the Family Resource Centre National Forum, please see www.familyresource.ie