Parents Plus, an Irish charity that develops practical, evidence-based, parenting and mental health programmes, has awarded eight scholarships to professionals working with children and families throughout Ireland.
Among the scholarship recipients are early years professionals from the Mayo Early Intervention Service in Western Care Association, Margaret Igoe, Ursula Murphy, Kathleen O’Hara, and Yvonne Kerr, who will train in the Parents Plus Early Years programme for parents of children aged one to six years.
Speaking about their win, early years advisor team leader Yvonne Kerr said: “We are absolutely delighted to win the Parents Plus scholarship. Our main job is to support and strengthen a parent’s role in caring for their child, all of whom have additional needs and this scholarship will help us to do just that. By training in and running the Parents Plus Early Years programme, we hope to provide parents with the support they need to interact with and respond to their children with additional needs. I want to develop strategies in partnership with parents that are unique to each individual child and family’s needs, provide a forum where parents can share experiences and ideas and in turn encourage each other.”
Dr John Sharry, Parents Plus CEO, said: “I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to our scholarship winners. We received 56 applications and awarded just eight scholarships. The Mayo Early Intervention Service stood out for their obvious enthusiasm and dedication to improving the outcomes for the families who are bringing up children with additional needs that they work with. We know that the pressure to meet the many demands and responsibilities of being a parent can all take its toll on family harmony and increase stress levels. For over 15 years, Parents Plus has developed evidence-based programmes that reduce parental stress and increase parental satisfaction. Every year, we train over 400 professionals working with families to deliver parenting programmes in their organisations and communities. Our model is low cost, sustainable, and allows a long-term benefit for organisations and communities. We believe that relatively modest funding can make a big difference.”