WhiteLight Consulting were delighted to work with DkIT on the launch of an innovative new training programme to assist those working in front-line services to recognise and respond to Domestic Abuse.
Working with Dr. Edel Healy of DkIT, we engaged with Minister Aodhán Ó Riordáin, stakeholders in the project, potential participants in the course An Garda Siochána to plan and manage the launch and the associated PR campaign. The event was a roaring success with over 100 key influencers in the sector in attendance.
Domestic abuse occurs in many households across Ireland. Yet many who encounter it in the course of their work struggle to know how to respond. Domestic abuse can include physical, sexual and psychological control by one partner over another.
In a study conducted in 2014, staff in frontline services including social care, nursing, midwifery, youth work, primary and second level teaching, counselling, gardaí, GPs and others identified that they needed educational support in this subject. They needed the education and skills to recognise domestic abuse in their day-to-day work but more importantly they needed to learn how to respond.
The result is that Dundalk Institute of Technology have, this week, launched an accredited Certificate in the Fundamentals of Understanding and Responding to Domestic Abuse. The programme is the first of its kind in Ireland accredited in Ireland.
Speaking at the launch, Jim McGuigan of Tusla explained “This innovative course has been developed through a collaboration between the Louth Children and Young Persons Services Committee, Dundalk Institute of Technology, The Probation Service, An Garda Siochána, the HSE, Drogheda Women’s and Children’s Refuge and Dundalk Women’s Aid. This programme meets a real educational need and demonstrates the tangible results that can be achieved when we take an inter-agency approach.”
Head of the School of Health and Human Science at DkIT Dr. Edel Healy continued “Work on this programme started nearly two years ago. We researched the learning needs of frontline staff. We worked with all the agencies to develop a strong curriculum. We secured experienced personnel to deliver this programme. We designed a learning method that includes classroom and online learning to suit the availability of students who are also working full-time.”
Edel concluded “Having Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin here to launch the programme is a very important endorsement of our work. Government policy recognises that education and intervention is critical in breaking the cycle of Domestic Abuse. At Dundalk Institute of Technology we constantly strive to respond to educational needs here in the North East. We, in the School of Health and Human Science, knew that we could spearhead the development of this programme and were delighted to lead out on it. It also fits into our aim of delivering Life Long Learning opportunities to people of all ages and disciplines.”
For more information about this programme visit www.learn.ie/domesticabuse