Centre for Adult Continuing Education - Journal Articles

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    Development of a psychoeducational foster carer program using the Medical Research Council (MRC) Framework for Complex Intervention
    (Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group, 2022-09-27) Lotty, Maria; Bantry-White, Eleanor; Dunn-Galvin, Audrey; University College Cork; Tusla
    Foster carers require high quality evidence-based psychoeducational programs to support them in the care of children with complex trauma-related difficulties. However, there is a lack of systematic development of such programs which may explain mixed results. This paper presents a detailed account of the development of a complex intervention. This program was developed to address a practice gap of evidenced-based foster care programs in the Irish context. It aims to improve foster carers' capacity to provide children with trauma-informed care and in turn improve emotional and behavioural difficulties. The framework of the Medical Research Council (MRC) for the development and evaluation of complex interventions was used to develop Fostering Connections: The Trauma-informed Foster Care Programme. A prior narrative review of the evidence base of similar programs was combined with a prior qualitative study. A Stakeholder Group provided expert feedback during the development process. The development of a promising psychoeducational programs for foster carers using the MRC framework is described.
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    Towards a more comprehensive understanding of fostering connections: The trauma-informed foster care programme: a mixed methods approach with data integration
    (University of Victoria, 2022-04-21) Lotty, Maria; Bantry-White, Eleanor; Dunn-Galvin, Audrey
    Foster carers require high-quality training to support them in caring for children with trauma-related difficulties. This paper describes a mixed methods approach that was applied to evaluate the complex intervention Fostering Connections: The Trauma-Informed Foster Care Programme, a recently developed trauma-informed psychoeducational intervention for foster carers in Ireland. A quantitative outcome evaluation and a qualitative process evaluation were integrated to capture a comprehensive understanding of the effects of this complex intervention. A convergent mixed methods model with data integration was used. Coding matrix methods were employed to integrate data. There was convergence among component studies for: programme acceptability, increased trauma-informed foster caring, improvement in child regulation and peer problems, and the need for ongoing support for foster carers. This research provides support for the intervention suggesting the importance of its implementation in Ireland. The integrative findings are discussed in relation to effects and future implementation.
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    Making sense of the practice of trauma-informed care: A response to the need to implement trauma-informed care into front-line practice
    (Irish Association of Social Workers, 2021) Lotty, Maria
    Trauma-informed Care is an approach that is gaining momentum in front line social work practice and allied professions that work directly with children, young people, adults, and their families who have experienced trauma. However, to date, clear ways to integrate Trauma-informed Care into practice specific to the Irish context are lacking. In this article, firstly, the author describes the development of Trauma-informed Care as an approach to ameliorate trauma exposure. Then, the barriers that impede the progression of integrating this approach into front-line practice are discussed. As a response, a university-based Continuing Professional Development programme has been developed. The theoretical framework that underpins the programme is presented that draws from the author’s doctoral research and extensive practice experience. The paper concludes that front-line practitioners play an integral role in wider service and systems-level Trauma-informed Care implementation.
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    Finding the common ground: families, relationships, and child-focused practice in foster care
    (Irish Association of Social Workers, 2021) Lotty, Maria; Lynch, Sean
    For children, their parents, and their foster carers, the challenge in maintaining relationships, managing interactions, and varying loyalties can bring a wide range of complex and intense emotions. This often-overlooked emotional complexity within the foster care system lies at the heart of challenges that may arise. This paper explores this complex and uniquely fostering situation of supporting a child in being part of two families. We firstly examine the literature in relation to this issue and then explore the perspectives of the foster carers, multidisciplinary practitioners and the views of parents drawing from recent Irish research. In examining the differing sides of a complex situation for children in foster care, we then explore how we can find some common ground and how to support practices that help children to integrate and make sense of these varying relationships in the interests of their development and wellbeing.
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    Designing heterogeneous-mHealth apps for Cystic Fibrosis adults
    (IntechOpen, 2019-03-26) Vagg, Tamara; Shortt, Cathy; Fleming, Claire; McCarthy, Mairead; Tabirca, Sabin; Plant, Barry J.; Seventh Framework Programme
    In this chapter, we will discuss the design and development of a patient passport mHealth application for Cystic Fibrosis adults from ideation to app-store release. By allowing the patients access to their own unique data, it is anticipated that it will be of benefit when travelling abroad and between CF centres. The design process followed a pipeline we developed that is informed by patient and healthcare professional input. The app structure resembles an Irish patient file and is divided into three categories: “My CF Info”, “My Medical History”, and “My Clinical Appointments”. My CF Info allows the patient to store personal information such genotype, medical team contact information, physiotherapy, allergies, and medications. My Medical History allows the user to record information such as CF renal disease, CF diabetes, and the insertion/removal of a portacath/gastrostomy tube. My Clinical Appointments allows the user to record the type of appointment (annual assessment, clinic, other) and all information that would ordinarily be inserted into a patient file such as weight, height, spirometry and other comments. Weight and lung function are also displayed in a plot graph. The app has undergone pilot testing with five CF adults before being rolled out onto the Google Play Store.