This purpose-built centre provides a unique setting in which children can live with their families in a safe and secure environment while parenting skills are assessed and developed.
The family based residential placements at Ballyowen Meadows aim to be preventative in their design, enabling service providers to uniquely address child protection concerns within the family while, at the same time, supporting families to remain connected with each other.
Ballyowen Meadows operates under the service provision of Traveller Families Care CLG. It was first established in 1998 as a family based residential and support unit for families from the Traveller Community. We have since developed into a specific parenting assessment service for all families. Our approach always remains child centred.
The unit caters for one family at a time (family of up to eight children and two parents) and is staffed by two Social Care Workers on a twenty-four-hour basis.
We provide residential based parenting capacity Assessments in Ballyowen Meadows. The duration of the assessments is 12 weeks.
However, within this timeframe, we reserve the right to suspend/terminate an assessment if, at any stage, it is felt that it is not in the best interests of the child for the placement to continue. Should such a situation arise, full consultation with the Social Worker would take place, before a final decision would be made.
Why Refer to Ballyowen Meadows
All referrals for Ballyowen Meadows will be considered for placement. On receipt of all information from the central referrals committee, a risk assessment will be completed which will determine whether the family is deemed suitable for placement or not.
Families are admitted to Ballyowen Meadows under various circumstances
We provide assessment to
MODELS AND TOOLS USED BY BALLYOWEN MEADOWS FOR THE ASSESSMENT AND ANALYSIS OF FAMILIES
Our assessment of families is structured around an assessment framework, in effect a map for systematically gathering, ordering an analysing assessment information.
The framework we use is ‘The Assessment of Children in Need and their Families’, Department of Health (UK) 2000. It is a well-established, widely used, research backed assessment model. It seeks information on three specific areas:
Alongside the Assessment Framework we utilise a number of other models and information gathering tools to assist us in our family assessments, analysis and work to bring about change. These include:
Modules from the Hope for Children and Families modular systemic Intervention programmes are used during the assessment. The programmes provide a set of evidence-based approaches, resources and tools for assessment intervention and measuring outcomes. The resources are intended to empower children, young people, their families and practitioners when working together – building on strengths and overcoming difficulties. The Interventions that are used are:
Working with Parents: Positive Parenting
This module focuses on helping parents understand factors that lead children to behave in a disruptive fashion, to misbehave, and to help them find ways to turn this around.
The aim is to understand factors associated with the development and maintenance of negative behaviour and to introduce a number of different ways to improve the behaviour through positive approaches. The focus of the modules is on praise and encouragement, active ignoring, giving effective instructions, shaping and managing children’s behaviours and dealing with challenging behaviour through the use of clear boundaries and non-punitive limit setting, including time out and privilege removal.
This module is designed for infants for 0 to 3 years of age, for children of 3 years plus and for adolescents. The module will help the parent and child develop a more secure attachment style, to improve the degree of attunement between the parents and the infant, growing child or young person to improve the quality of their emotional relationships.
The key elements when using this module is to stress the importance of the nature of attachment and to explain the nature of secure and insecure attachments. The module will identify the nature of the attachment between the parents and their child and will help the parent understand the factors which have led to insecure and disorganised attachments and how to help change this.
Working with Parents: Targeting Abusive and Neglectful Parenting
This module is intended for parents who have been responsible for physically, sexually or emotionally abusive actions towards their children or who have seriously neglected their children’s care.
In this module it will give the parent an insight into the understanding of how their abusive and neglectful parenting affects their children’s development. It will give the parents an understanding on how they cope with stress, how this stress can link in with abusive and neglectful parenting and how they can modify and manage this stress. The module also aims to modify the negative perceptions of the children which in the past justified the parents abusive and neglectful actions and will clarify, share and reconcile the impact of the abusive and neglectful parenting has had on the child.
Working with Parents: Promoting Health, Development and Well-being
This module will give the parents an understanding about their child’s development as parents who are responsible for abusive and neglectful parenting can have difficulties and confusion in understanding what their children’s needs are.
In this module, it will give the parent an insight into developing a capacity to identify and understand their children’s physical and emotional needs. It will show the parents how they can promote their children’s development in both the early and later stages of their lives. This module will also allow for a discussion to be had with the parent around how they can ensure their child’s safety; protecting them from harm and how they can provide a good quality of care for their children including their nutritional care.
The principles and practice of Theraplay are incorporated into one to one parent/child games and activities during the intervention and support phase of the assessment.
Theraplay is a child and family therapy for enhancing and building attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between a parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge.
The goals of Theraplay is to enhance attachment, increase self-regulation, promote trust and joyful engagement and to empower the parents to continue carrying out these positive and healthy interactions on their own with their child.
Our team have been trained in the Principles and Practice of Theraplay (Level one).