Home > Springboard: promoting family well-being through family support services.

McKeown, Kieran and Haase, Trutz and Pratschke, Jonathan (2001) Springboard: promoting family well-being through family support services. Dublin: Department of Health and Children.

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Until recently, family support has been a neglected aspect of family policy. In many instances, it has been overshadowed by interventions which have focused predominantly on child protection. There is now a widespread perception that the child protection aspect of family policy needs to be complemented by a more broadly-based family support approach. That is the underlying rationale of the Springboard initiative.

Family support is generally seen as a way of promoting healthy relationships in families and preventing dysfunctional relationships from getting worse. As such it can be a form of either primary, secondary or tertiary prevention, a trilogy of interventions which have been cryptically defined as addressing problems either before they happen (primary prevention), before they get worse (secondary prevention) or before it is too late (tertiary prevention)1.

Family support is an umbrella term covering a wide range of interventions which vary along a number of dimensions according to their target group (such as mothers, toddlers, teenagers, etc.), the professional background of service providers (e.g. Family Worker, Social Worker, Childcare Worker, Youth and Community Worker, Public Health Nurse, Community Mother, Psychologist, etc.), the orientation of service providers (e.g. therapeutic, child development, community development, youth work, etc.), the problems addressed (e.g. parenting problems, family conflict, child neglect, educational underachievement, etc.), the programme of activities (e.g. home visits, pre-school facility, youth club, parenting course, etc.) and the service setting (e.g. home-based, clinic-based or community-based). This diversity indicates that family support is not a homogenous activity but a diverse range of interventions2.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Education and training
Call No
JT6.2, MP18, VH4.2
186 p.
Department of Health and Children
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB 1944 (Available)

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