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- Item4 questions to ask your election candidate about poverty(Raidió Teilifís Éireann, 2020-01-29) Whelan, Joe
- ItemAfter the reforms: An analysis of the factors associated with the use of legal services in child welfare proceedings in Ireland(IJMESS International Publishers, 2019) Walsh, Edel; Murphy, Aileen; Halton, Carmel; Harold, Gill; Irish Research CouncilAgainst the backdrop of austerity measures and public sector reforms in Ireland, this paper examined legal costs incurred in child welfare proceedings by the State Child and Family Agency - Tusla, using a need-based allocation model. The direct financial costs of engaging with legal services, necessitated by the adversarial nature of child welfare proceedings, were scrutinized to determine if resources were allocated based on need. Adopting a cross-sectional research design, secondary data (obtained from the organization’s financial billing system. n =1032) were employed in an econometric analysis examining the factors influencing variations in Tusla’s legal expenditure. The dependent variable was total amount billed by legal firm per observation and the independent variables included type of legal activity involved (a proxy for need), geographical location and type of legal personnel (supply factor). Type of legal personnel, volume and type of legal activity have significant positive effects on legal spend. Administrative area does not significantly affect spending on legal services. We found that engagement with legal services, demanded by the adversarial nature of child welfare proceedings, has considerable cost implications; however, does seem to be allocated on the basis of need. The findings can be employed to increase the organization’s awareness of costs.
- ItemAftercare: We need a comprehensive service, not an after-thought(Social Work Action Network (SWAN) Ireland, 2016-12) Jenkinson, HilaryThis article examines the challenges faced by young people leaving State care in Ireland when they reach 18 years. It calls for the implementation of the Child Care Amendment Act 2015 which has the potential to significantly improve supports provided to Irish care leavers.
- ItemThe 'Arc of prosperity' revisited: Homelessness policy change in north western Europe(Cogitatio, 2016-10) Anderson, Isobel; Dyb, Evelyn; Finnerty, JoeThis paper compares continuity and change in homelessness policy in Ireland, Scotland and Norway with a particular focus on the period of post-crisis austerity measures (2008-2016). The analytical approach draws on institutional theory and the notion of path dependency, which has rarely been applied to comparative homelessness research. The paper compares welfare and housing systems in the three countries prior to presenting a detailed analysis of the conceptualisation and measurement of homelessness; the institutions which address homelessness; and the evidence of change in the post-2008 period. The analysis demonstrates that challenges remain in comparing the nature of homelessness and policy responses across nation states, even where they have a number of similar characteristics, and despite some EU influence towards homelessness policy convergence. Similarly, national-level homelessness policy change could not be interpreted as entirely a result of the external shock of the 2008 general financial crisis, as existing national policy goals and programmes were also influential. Overall, embedded national frameworks and institutions were resilient, but sufficiently flexible to deliver longer term policy shifts in response to the changing nature of the homelessness problem and national policy goals. Institutionalism and path dependency were found to be useful in developing the comparative analysis of homelessness policy change and could be fruitfully applied in future longitudinal, empirical research across a wider range of countries.
- Item"Bursting the Lyrica bubble”: Experiences of pregabalin use in individuals accessing opioid agonist treatment in Dublin, Ireland(Associazione per l’Utilizzo delle Conoscenze Neuroscientifiche a fini Sociali, 2020-01-20) Brennan, Rebekah; Van Hout, Marie ClaireTerms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.Aim: The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 pandemic a global health emergency. Many countries of the world, including Ireland, closed their borders and imposed nationwide lockdown. During this period, all major anthropogenic transport activities, which contribute to atmospheric pollution, were restricted. The current study examines the impact of the transport restrictions on ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations and hospital admissions for asthma across Ireland. Methods: This is a retrospective population-based cohort study. National ambient air quality monitoring network data were analysed to investigation variations in NO2 concentrations. Asthma hospital admissions data were collected from the HSE Hospital In-patient Enquiry (HIPE) for Cork, Dublin, and Meath.Results: During the period of transport restrictions, there were reductions in the annual mean NO2 for Cork, Dublin and Meath (i.e. 12µg/m3 to 11µg/m3 (p = 1); 25µg/m3 to 17µg/m3 (p < 0.001); and 23µg/m3 to 21µg/m3 (p = 1)). Reductions in asthma hospital admissions were also observed. Among the 8,471 patient episodes included in this study, the mean [SD] age at admission was 47.2[22.9] years; 61% were female (n=5,134); mean [SD] length of stay was 4.9[10.9] days. Conclusion: The findings of this study provide an opportunity to explore the impact of NO2 emissions for Cork, Dublin and Meath on asthma hospital admissions, in order to improve air quality modelling and policy development of management of asThis is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in FEMS Microbiology Ecology following peer review. The version of record [O'Sullivan, J. N., Rea, M. C., Hill, C. and Ross, R. P. (2020) 'Protecting the outside: biological tools to manipulate the skin microbiota', FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 96(6), fiaa085 (14pp). doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiaa085] is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/femsethe Authors. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited© 2020, The Institution of Engineering and Technology. This paper is a postprint of a paper submitted to and accepted for publication in IET Optoelectronics, and is subject to Institution of Engineering and Technology Copyright. The copy of record is available at IET Digital Library: https://digital-library.theiet.org/content/journals/10.1049/ietFlanagan, Michael; Ryan, Jessica M.; Connelly, Tara; Cooke, Fiachra; McCullough, Peter; Neary, P Background: Pregabalin, also known by a brand name of Lyrica, is a prescription only gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analogue and licensed for a range of medical conditions, e.g. chronic pain, generalised anxiety and epilepsy. In recent years, pregabalin has attracted clinical and research attention due to an increase in its association with overdose fatalities. Individuals with opiate use and those in opioid agonist treatment are an identified at-risk group for problematic pregabalin use and overdose. As such, research focusing on pregabalin use in individuals accessing opioid agonist treatment is highly relevant. Aim: This study aims to add to the evidence based on diverted pregabalin use in the OAT cohort in Ireland. Methods: Fifteen semi structured interviews were conducted and analytically coded using thematic analysis with software programme NVivo12. Results: Individuals on OAT may use Lyrica to self-regulate negative emotions; Lyrica use in this population is embedded in a polydrug use culture of “tablet taking”; participants illustrated concerning reports of inappropriate prescribing and described psychiatric symptoms occurring during withdrawal. Conclusions: We report here on the first study in Ireland investigating the experiences of individuals who access opioid agonist treatment (OAT) and reported current or recent pregabalin use. Increased pharmaco-vigilance amongst medical practitioners is warranted when prescribing Lyrica to individuals with vulnerabilities such as a history of problematic drug use. Trauma informed interventions in addition to pragmatic harm reduction information for polydrug users to prevent cross tolerance, dependence and overdose deaths should be part of the healthcare and policy response.
- Item'Career preference', 'transients' and 'converts': A study of social workers' retention in child protection and welfare(Oxford University Press, 2011-04) Burns, KennethBoth domestically and internationally, retaining social workers in statutory child protection and welfare work has been identified as a problem. However, this issue appears to receive only modest attention from researchers. This paper reports on the findings of a study that examined the retention of ‘front line’ child protection and welfare social workers in one Health Service Executive area in the Republic of Ireland. A qualitative study was undertaken with forty-four social workers with experience of this work setting. Whilst familiar themes, such as organisational supports, social exchanges with peers, amongst others, were highlighted as important in social workers' decisions to stay or leave, a grounded analysis of the data highlighted the importance of a theme not previously presented in this research. In this study, participants made links between their understandings of career pathways for newly qualified social workers and what they perceived as the key role play by child protection and welfare in 'proving' or inducting newly qualified social workers and the likelihood of their retention in this sector. This analysis led to the construction of a career preference typology with three 'types' of social worker: 'career preference', 'transients' and 'converts'.
- ItemCaring for the Celtic cubs: Discursive constructions of mothers and mothering in the Irish childcare debate(Association for Research on Mothering, 2008) Leane, MáireDrawing on an understanding of the public sphere as a multiplicity of communicative and discursive spaces this paper examines the constructions of mothers, mothering and motherhood which emerged in recent debates about childcare in Ireland. Preliminary analysis of these discursive constructions suggest that they are often based on rhetoric, informed by stereotypical assumptions and rooted in frames of reference which mitigate against the emergence of alternative ways of understanding the issues of mothering and childcare. It will be argued that the reductionist and divisive nature of the childcare debate which ensued prior to the 2005 budget, stymied childcare policy development at a time when its unprecedented prominence on the political agenda and the strength of public finances could have underpinned a shift in policy approach. The paper concludes with an exploration of the ways in which feminist scholarship can challenge the Irish model of childcare policy, which continues to be premised on an understanding of childcare and the reconciliation of work and family life as the privatised responsibility of individual women.
- ItemThe Catholic Church and revolution in Ireland(Socialist History Society, 2013-12) Ó hAdhmaill, FéilimDespite the involvement of radical socialists like James Connolly and the Irish Citizen Army in the 1916 Rising and the unanimous passing of the Democratic Programme (a socialist manifesto for the new Government) by the First Dáil in 1919, the Irish state has since its inception exhibited a highly conservative approach to social and economic policy, and politics generally in Ireland, North or South, have never faced a serious challenge from those seeking radical change. Several factors have played a part in this and this article focuses on one of these - the power and conservatism of the Catholic Church and its influence in shaping the political landscape. Despite a decline in recent years, the Church remains influential north and south of the Border in education provision, the current debates in relation to abortion and in culturally important aspects of life - baptism, communion and burial. In the past the Church’s political influence among Ireland’s majority Catholic community had been even more pronounced. The article begins by looking at the Church’s attitude to revolutionary change in Ireland historically before focusing on its influence in the North during the Stormont years and during the more recent ‘Troubles’ – 1969 - 98. It shows how the Church attempted to influence political thought and discourse in Ireland when it was at the height of its power. Whilst it is true that the Church was not a monolith, and there have always been individual priests who have adopted a more radical approach, the general thrust of the Church was conservative, attempting to ally itself with the power elites of the day where possible. It is this influence which appears to have stood the test of time despite attempts in past generations to radicalise the Irish population.
- ItemCentre-based supervised child-parent contact in Ireland: the views and experiences of fathers, supervisors and key stakeholders(Elsevier, 2019-03-07) Kiely, Elizabeth; O'Sullivan, Nicola; Tobin, MaryThe paper presents findings from a study of centre-based supervised child-parent contact. The purpose of the research was twofold: to ascertain the views and experiences of birth fathers on all aspects of the supervised child-parent contact they experienced in a centre; and to find out from centre supervisors their views of engaging fathers and supervising contact, and from key stakeholders and referral agents (a community project worker, a child protection social worker, Guardians ad Litem and a family law solicitor) their perceptions of the supervised contact provision in the centre. Interviews with five fathers having supervised child-parent contact and three focus group discussions with seven staff members and six stakeholders were undertaken. While the study is exploratory, the findings show that gender is a feature meriting consideration in the supervised child parent contact setting; and that child-centred values, family-centred values and the demands of operating the centre are held in tension so that the purpose and scope of supervised contact can be interpreted and experienced differently. While optimal supervised child -parent contact is generally perceived as a short-term arrangement, there was some evidence of long-term service use, which was a significant issue for the fathers concerned. The fathers valued relationship-based supervision practice to a greater extent than the supervisor and stakeholder participants, who put greater emphasis on skills required for supervision. Fathers expressed concerns about what they or their children can say or do during contact visits in view of how it may be observed, interpreted and reported. The findings suggest the need for a gender-sensitive approach in supervision practice; the value of a common framework for assessing what is observed in contact visits; and the intensification of strategies to facilitate and to recognise progress and the prioritisation of short term supervised contact arrangements with the required supports.
- ItemChild care proceedings in non-specialist courts: the experience in Ireland(Oxford University Press, 2016-04-15) O'Mahony, Conor; Burns, Kenneth; Parkes, Aisling; Shore, Caroline; University College CorkIt is widely accepted that court proceedings concerning child protection are a particularly sensitive type of court proceedings that warrant a different approach to other types of proceedings. Consequently, the use of specialized family or children’s judges or courts is commonplace across Europe and in common law jurisdictions. By contrast, in Ireland, proceedings under the Child Care Act 1991 are heard in the general courts system by judges who mostly do not specialize in child or family law. In principle, the Act itself and the associated case law accept that the vulnerability of the parties and the sensitivity of the issues involved are such that they need to be singled out for a different approach to other court proceedings. However, it is questionable whether this aspiration has been realized in a system where child care proceedings are mostly heard in a general District Court, using the same judges and the same physical facilities used for proceedings such as minor crime and traffic offences. This article draws on the first major qualitative analysis of professional perspectives on child care proceedings in the Irish District Court. It examines evidence from judges, lawyers, social workers, and guardians ad litem and asks whether non-specialist courts are an appropriate venue for proceedings on an issue as complex and sensitive as child protection, or whether the establishment of specialist family courts with dedicated staff and facilities provides a better solution.
- ItemChild participatory research methods: attempts to go ‘deeper’(Sage Publications, 2016-05-17) Horgan, Deirdre; Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences; University College CorkAlong with the growth of child participatory research an increased focus on its complexity, specifically unaddressed power inequities in the research relationship and unreflexive use of methods, has developed. This article discusses a participatory research project with children in Ireland and reflects on attempts to achieve deeper participation through the use of children and youth advisory groups, mixed visual and discursive group methods. It argues that overly paternalistic frameworks adopted by ethical review bodies can hamper participatory research with children.
- ItemChildhood trauma in mind: Integrating trauma-informed care in ECEC(OMEP Ireland, 2020) Lotty, Maria; Clerkin, Frances; Murphy, Vanessa; Butler, Judith E.Early childhood experience of trauma is highly prevalent and has far-reaching consequences. Young children are particularly vulnerable to experiencing trauma and children who enter foster care often have complex trauma related difficulties. In Ireland, many young children enter foster care each year and services to support their recovery are chronically under resourced. Early Childhood Education and Care Professionals are located in a unique position to provide children with crucial supports that may aid children’s recovery and healing from trauma. This paper describes the impact of childhood trauma and how this may impact Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). Then, it describes trauma-informed care, an approach that may support children’s recovery from trauma and how it could be integrated into ECEC practices in the Irish context. The paper concludes that there is a need for trauma-informed care professional development for Early Childhood Professionals to support this. It is also recognising that the current research base to support this intervention is limited and thus, the need for more research is warranted.
- ItemChildren in immediate danger: emergency removals in Finnish and Irish child protection(John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2018-12-11) Lamponen, Tuuli; Pösö, Tarja; Burns, KennethThis paper presents a qualitative analysis of front‐line practices regarding emergency removals in Finnish and Irish child protection. It examines how the responses to children's immediate danger are framed by legislation and how front‐line practitioners assess the child's situation and make emergency placement decisions. The data consist of interviews with 16 Irish and 33 Finnish social workers. These child welfare protection systems respond differently to a task that appears to be similar. The Irish team‐based practice rests on the social workers' shared assessment of the child's needs, and the formal decision is made by the courts (or police officers at night‐time); and the Finnish practice involves only one single social worker who makes both the assessment and the removal decision. The Irish system is tightly time regulated, whereas the Finnish system provides a more flexible time frame. Both approaches put a lot of stress on social workers' practice, which also includes creative workarounds (e.g., “planned emergency removals” in Finland). Future research will need to explore these features from the point of view of a child's right to protection.
- ItemChildren's participation: moving from the performative to the social(Taylor & Francis, 2016-08-09) Horgan, Deirdre; Forde, Catherine; Martin, Shirley; Parkes, Aisling; University College Cork; Department of Children and Youth Affairs; Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social SciencesThe body of work on children’s participation has been valuable in asserting its importance. Nonetheless, participation is a contested concept and key challenges arise relating to its emphasis on age and voice, its focus on socialising the participative responsible citizen, and its failure to sufficiently recognise the range of participatory activities of children in their everyday lives. This article presents findings of a study on children’s experiences of participation in their homes, schools, and communities including the importance of the relational context, how everyday interactions rather than ‘performative’ formal structures for participation are valued by children and how their participation is limited by adult processes based on notions of competence and voice. It concludes with an argument for recognising and facilitating children’s informal and social participation as well as new forms of democratic processes being developed by children to address the possibility of governance and over-responsibilisation of children.
- ItemChildren's views on school-age care: child's play or childcare?(Elsevier, 2018-06-01) Horgan, Deirdre; O'Riordan, Jacqui; Martin, Shirley; O'Sullivan, Jane; Department of Education and Skills; Department of Children and Youth AffairsSchool aged care (SAC)11 SAC is an abbreviation for school age care. is a much neglected policy and research area, with particularly limited literature on children's views and experiences of school aged care. This article examines the findings from government consultations with 177 five to twelve-year-old Irish children on their likes, dislikes and opinions on the afterschool care experience using a variety of creative and age-appropriate methodologies. The findings from the consultations indicate that children want to be able to relax and feel comfortable after school. Play was identified as the most popular after-school activity by children of all ages; relationships with family, extended family, friends, childminders and other carers were noted as being very important; and eating and cooking were also identified as central activities for children in the after-school period of their day. Children expressed a dislike of being in structured environments with rules, not being treated appropriately for their age and lack of food choice. The results are reflective of international research in this area which highlights the value placed by children on opportunities to engage in activities, free play and to develop and extend friendships in afterschool care contexts. Policy development must address these priorities, in the context of the reality of the different sites of care for children and personnel available to carry out school age care.
- ItemChronic Illness, Vulnerability and Social Work: Autoimmunity and the Contemporary Disease Experience, by Liz Price and Liz Walker(Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-04-02) Whelan, Joe
- ItemCognitive and sensory dimensions of older people’s preferences of outdoor spaces for walking: A survey study in Ireland(MDPI, 2019-04-14) Cassarino, Marica; Bantry-White, Eleanor; Setti, AnnalisaBackground: Physical exercise, particularly walking, benefits healthy ageing. Understanding the environmental circumstances in which exercise occurs is crucial to the promotion of physical activity in older age. Most studies have focused on the structural dimensions of environments that may foster walking; however, individual differences in how older people perceive and interact with outdoor spaces need further attention. This study explored the cognitive and sensory dimensions of preferences of outdoor spaces for walking. Methods: We invited 112 healthy community-dwelling people aged ≥60 years to complete a survey to test associations between walking preferences and cognitive/sensory vulnerability. A subsample also completed focus groups/walk along interviews to explore qualitatively the cognitive/sensory reasons for outdoor walking preferences. Results: While most participants indicated a preference for outdoor spaces that offer variety and greenery, we observed a complex association between individual cognitive/sensory needs (stimulation seeking vs. avoidance), preferences for social interactions, and the place of residence urbanity level. Furthermore, walking preferences varied based on the purpose of the walk (recreation vs. transportation). Conclusions: Our findings support an ecological approach to understanding determinants of physical activity in older age, which consider the interaction between individual cognitive processing and the environment.