Parents Plus charity and Family Carers Ireland (FCI) are collaborating to deliver the Parents Plus Special Needs Programme (PPSN) in 2023. It is the first evidence-based programme in the world designed to support parents of children and young adults who have additional support needs. FCI ran six of these programmes in 2021-2022 and the feedback from parents has been positive and parents made progress in the goals they set for their family on the course.
The PPSN Programme was designed in collaboration with 100 families in Ireland raising children who have a disability. They asked Parents Plus to include topics in the programme including supporting the child who has additional needs, supporting siblings, supporting the co-parent relationship and parent self-care.
Family life is busy and the added demands of accessing educational, health and therapy services for children who have additional support needs poses additional challenges for families. The PPSN Programme is designed to support the whole family as well as providing evidence-based parenting strategies. The PPSN Programme was officially launched in September 2020.
FCI plans to deliver nine online PPSN programmes in 2023. Each will be co-facilitated by a Community Supports Manager from FCI and a parent facilitator who has lived experience raising a child with additional support needs. Programmes will run for seven weeks online for 2.5 hours each week. There are ten places (approx.) on each.
Please see the table below (click to expand) to find out which course is most relevant for you and your family.
"By co-facilitating the PPSN Programme, I hope to offer support, experience, advice and understanding to families starting out on this emotional journey, to families facing new challenges as their child grows and to create support networks and friendships among parents of children with severe additional needs." Fiona McCormack, mum to Caoimhe (16) with severe ID
FCI and Parents Plus wish to provide a supportive environment for parents who attend a PPSN Programme in 2023. The course is free of charge for parents to attend. Each parent will receive a PPSN Parent Book free of charge also.
The PPSN Programme provides parents with an opportunity to meet with other families who are raising a child or young person with additional support needs. Each week, parents discuss topics from the PPSN Parent Book. The co-facilitators have been trained to support each family to decide which course ideas are helpful to apply in their own home.
If you are interested in attending a PPSN Programme in 2023, please contact us. If you don't see a course above which is relevant for your young person’s ability, profile or age range, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.