Minister Doherty announces over €1.7 million for Training and Supports for Family Carers’ Projects

Print page

Thursday, 20 December, 2018: Employment Affairs and Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty, T.D. has approved funding of €1.763 million from her Department to provide a range of training and supports for family carers for 13 projects under the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2018.

A list of projects approved for funding can be accessed in the Note for Editors below.

The funding focusses on projects that promote training and supports for family carers. It includes the provision of structured training, information and support networks under the theme of personal and social development of people who are economically or socially disadvantaged.

The projects were selected as part of a competitive process organised by Pobal that evaluated each of the applications against a number of preset criteria.  On approving the recommendations the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty, T.D., said:

“The funding being made available today is for projects which provide training, information and related support services for family carers. I am particularly pleased to be in a position to fund projects which assist carers to provide the best care possible to those they look after and to help family carers cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of their role. Today’s funding is an important part of the overall recognition and support that the Government provides to carers and their families.”

Funding is also being made available to projects which provide for the dissemination of resource information for carers, the development of support networks, the development of support groups to assist with transition at the end of the caring role, and measures that assist in promoting carer self-identification. 

Press Office Contact Details
T: 01 704 3082
Twitter: @welfare_ie

Notes to editors:
There are currently over 79,500 people in receipt of Carer’s Allowance and over 2,600 people receiving Carer’s Benefit. Over 38,500 families (in respect of over 42,000 children) are currently receiving a Domiciliary Care Allowance payment.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s expenditure on Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and the Carer’s Support Grant (formerly Respite Care Grant) in 2018 is expected to be in excess of €1.2 billion.

Pobal is a not-for-profit intermediary organisation that manages various funding programmes on behalf of the Irish Government and the EU.

The Dormant Accounts Acts 2001-2012, together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003, provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings. The main purpose of this legislation is to reunite account or policy holders with their funds in credit institutions or insurance undertakings and in this regard, these bodies are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies.

However, in order to utilise the unused funds in dormant accounts and unclaimed policies to best use, the legislation also introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed from dormant accounts and unclaimed policies for the purposes of measures to assist:

  1. the personal and social development of people who are economically or socially disadvantaged;
  2. the educational development of people who are educationally disadvantaged or
  3. people with a disability.

List of projects approved for funding under the Dormant Accounts

  • Family Carers Ireland, Dublin  
  • St Munchin’s Community Centre Company Limited by Guarantee, Limerick  
  • IRD Duhallow Company Limited by Guarantee, Cork  
  • Galway Autism Partnership Company Limited by Guarantee, Galway
  • Irish Foster Care Association Company Limited by Guarantee, Dublin
  • Carebright Company Limited by Guarantee, Limerick
  • Irish Heart Foundation, Dublin
  • National Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Ireland Ltd, Dublin
  • Care Alliance Ireland (in collaboration with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland)
  • ABAILE Autism Support Company Limited By Guarantee, Louth
  • Peter Bradley Foundation Company Limited By Guarantee (t/a Acquired Brain Injury Ireland), Dublin
  • St Francis Hospice Dublin 
  • The Rehab Group, Dublin   

Details of Applications Approved for Funding with Grant Allocation Location

Organisation with recommended funding amount


Description of project

Family Carers Ireland



To fund Family Carers Ireland to deliver the empowering carers project from January 2019 to June 2020. The aim of this project is to recruit 3 staff to deliver a number of actions to support family carers including training programmes, workshops, engagement and support initiatives, information and resources.

St Munchin’s Community Centre Company Limited by Guarantee



To fund this project, based in Limerick City and which will concentrate on three main areas:
1. Establishment of a Home Carers Befriending Service including training, garda vetting, volunteer policy. 
2.  The delivery of a Fetac QQI Level 5 Major Award in Health Care Support  to home carers.
3.  Establishment of 2 home carers support groups  operating 2 hours each per week and respite supports made available to allow carers to attend the support group 2 hours per week.

IRD Duhallow Company Limited by Guarantee



To fund the delivery of a suite of training and an awareness raising and networking programme in the Duhallow region of North Cork and East Kerry for family carers encompassing a multitude of disciplines.
The programme will support those who care for an older family member, those with a disability, those with dementia, those with challenging behaviours such as autism and also those with a diagnosed mental illness or an acquired brain injury.

Galway Autism Partnership Company Limited by Guarantee



To fund an inclusive and extensive calendar of support to parents, carers and the family unit of people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and additional needs. The ‘Take Care’ project will offer supports comprising training and education for parents and carers, clubs for siblings, peer support for family members including male carers, family and community events, and therapeutic support.

Irish Foster Care Association Company Limited by Guarantee





To fund:
1. ‘Breathing Space’ - a supportive space for carers to come together to address specific experiences including information leaflets on specific topics as an add-on to the service and information sessions delivered.
2. Formalised structure of peer support to foster carers delivered by trained volunteer facilitators.
3. ‘Staying Connected’ - Events tp include a combination of open discussion forums, information presentations on specific topics, the imparting of information regarding local and national support services, dissemination of information resources and a social space for carer interaction.
4. Counselling Service –  to promote foster carer self-identification, enable carers manage difficult emotions and provide them with the resilience to recover from stressful and troubling events.

Carebright Company Limited by Guarantee



To fund the project entitled 'A Day in the Life of a Family Carer'   A programme of activity for family carers specifically caring for people living with dementia, which entails a suite of  (non-accredited) training both on how to care for the person living with dementia and also how the family carer can look after themselves.  

Irish Heart Foundation



The proposed project is to provide support, information and training to carers of the applicant's stroke support group clients. The proposed project will include counselling supports for carers,  an online support network,  a new information resource for the carers of people with stroke (both in booklet form and as a downloadable online resource), and it will also provide practical training sessions in patient movement and handling and CPR training.

National Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Ireland Limited



The applicant seeks to deliver a project entitled the 'SHARE project'.  Key to the project is the employment of a dedicated Training Officer for the 18 month duration. The project is divided into 7 key initiatives. The Training Officer will work very closely with the Education Development Coordinator on all initiatives and the Respite and Recreations Manager on providing respite.
Initiative 1: Patient handling and First Aid course 60 family carers trained in 6 locations
Initiative 2: Mindfulness sessions for family carers, 30 carers in attendance
Initiative 3: Supporting families and carers resource development
Initiative 4: Saturday Series – series of information days for family carers
Initiative 5: Peer support programme development, 10 trained carers
Initiative 6: Respite break weeks
Initiative 7 - SBHI Family Breaks

Care Alliance Ireland (in collaboration with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland)



The proposed project is the delivery of an online peer to peer support group for carers of dementia sufferers through a Facebook app. The project will be a collaboration with the Alzheimers Society of Ireland (ASI) and a team in the University of Indiana (USA) to deliver an online dementia family carer intervention. It will utilise a specific Facebook App that has been developed in house by the University of Indiana.
80 dementia family carers in Ireland will be targeted with the online intervention that seeks to impact positively on their quality of life. Specifically, the aim is to positively impact on their self-reported stress levels, on their perceived levels of carer burden and on their confidence in caring. 

ABAILE Autism Support Company Limited By Guarantee



The proposal is called  'Active Support for Carers caring for Family Members with Autism and/or Complex Needs' and it comprises 5 separate elements. Three of these involve the provision of training for carers and the others relate to the recruitment of a staff member to organise this training as well as provide information for carers, and the provision of respite care to allow carers to attend the training. 
•Part time information and support officer
•Communication/Scheduling Training
•Professional Crisis Management Training
•Living with Challenging Behaviour
•Provision of Respite Support to enable Carers to avail of training opportunities.

Peter Bradley Foundation Company Limited By Guarantee (t/a Acquired Brain Injury Ireland)



To fund Acquired Brain Injury Ireland to set up a national support network for carers of people with an Acquired Brain Injury. The network will initially involve 12 groups providing support to 240 family carers and 10 carers who care for children with an Acquired Brain Injury. The project also proposes to develop and deliver bespoke training sessions for carers of people with an Acquired Brain Injury.

St Francis Hospice Dublin



To fund St. Francis Hospice Dublin to establish a bereavement support service in Blanchardstown. This will involve recruiting a part time senior social worker, a part time administrator and 12 volunteer facilitators to deliver bereavement services and supports such as bereavement counselling to former carers. Volunteer facilitators will take part in an intensive bereavement training programme to enable the delivery of quality support to former carers.

The Rehab Group



The project proposal is to develop a practical evidence-based parenting and mental health support programme for 85 families who have children with autism who attend Redhouse Children’s Respite Service in Patrickswell, Co. Limerick, as well as those who are on the waiting list for supports. The programme will deliver support training in the management of behaviours that challenge, which will include self-injurious behaviours, understanding anxiety, and how to support children with depression. The programme will also promote positive mental health understanding and encourage communication with families especially those who manage intense behaviours that challenge on a daily basis at home. Within each module taught there will be two groups one for parents and another for siblings and the two training models will be integrated, dependent on the group and topic being covered. The course will run over a 12 week period.

Last modified:20/12/2018