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Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force. (2015) Multi-agency parents drug education initiative. Galway: Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force.

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This initiative commenced in 2009 as a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approach to substance misuse education for parents within the school context. It began in Galway as a response to schools requesting various agencies and individuals to deliver drugs education talks. In line with good practice in substance misuse education, a more holistic and co-ordinated approach was developed, culminating in an initiative which involved the WRDATF (as co-ordinating body), the HSE (Drug Service), an Garda Síochána and the Department of Education and Skills (SPHE Regional Manager) delivering a programme for parents in the school setting that focuses on substance abuse prevention.

It was subsequently rolled out in Roscommon and Mayo in 2010. Secondary schools were offered the opportunity to run an initial one-night introductory evening at which presentations are made by the four agencies, followed by a three-night parenting course. The education support workers in each sub-region (Galway and Mayo/Roscommon), hosted by two different organisations (AIDS West in Galway and Foróige/South Mayo Development for Mayo/Roscommon) were given the responsibility of implementing the initiative within their area.

This initiative has proved to be very successful both in terms of the demand from schools and the interagency working with the organisations involved. In 2013 an independent evaluation of the initiative was undertaken and the recommendations are outlined in Section Three.

This report outlines the background to the initiative and its fit within a drug policy context, the roll-out of the initiative in the western region, the recommendations from the independent evaluation; the standardised initial evening of the initiative; the key components of the follow up parents programme and appendices relating to the delivery of the programme.

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