Barnardos Supports Record Number of Children and Families in 2018, as New Strategic Direction Announced

Barnardos revealed its support for a record number of children and families in 2018, while also announcing their commitment to become a trauma informed organisation that helps children and their families to build resilience and overcome the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Barnardos Annual Report 2018 key highlights included:

  • Barnardos supported 17,799 children and families in 2018, across its 41 centres, higher than any other year on record by:

- Working with children to build resilience with a focus on their social, emotional, physical and educational development.
- Helping parents strengthen their parenting skills to help them meet the needs of their children
- Working with schools to support children in their social and emotional development, to help with their educational progress.
- Working within communities connecting families with local supports

  • The ages of the children Barnardos supported over the past year were as follows:

- 0-5 years of age 30%
- 6-12 years of age 49%
- 12-18 years of age 21%

  • The breakdown of the 17,799 service users are as follows:

- 11,644 Children
- 4,196 Parents/Carers (Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles)
- 1,959 Community based prevention

For further details of our work in 2018, please see our full Annual Report.

Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos CEO said: “Last year, we saw a 16% increase in demand for our services and our waiting lists continue to grow year-on-year. Our team is working hard to ensure we can deliver services to those who need them the most - but waiting lists for our services keep growing and the gap between the demand and the funding provided by the Government continues to widen.

“Today, as a provider of services to the most vulnerable children and families in our society, we appeal to the Government to significantly increase our funding in the next budget. The funding shortfall, which is €8 million annually, has to be found by us, through our own fund-raising efforts and with the generous support of the Irish public.

“This is particularly relevant, as we strive to evolve the organisation and the services we provide to meet the needs of thousands of children and their families in Ireland. In moving to a trauma informed approach, we are committed to evolving our services and our policy work to focus on the impact of adverse childhood experiences on children driven by the stark connection between ACEs in childhood and poor adult health and wellbeing found in the Centre for Disease and Control CDC -Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study.

“Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are common and describe the difficult or stressful events suffered in childhood. Exposure to ACEs can affect a child’s ability to think, interact with others, to learn and can have lifelong impacts on health and happiness. Barnardos believes that what happens to us as children shapes the adults we become. It is because of this we have decided to work in a trauma informed way, to help those affected by these adversities, to strengthen families and give children the best possible outcomes in life. This won’t happen overnight, but already we have re-shaped our strategy to focus on the ACEs we see most commonly – the impacts on children of:

  1.  Domestic abuse
  2.  Child neglect (emotional and physical)
  3.  Child abuse (emotional and physical)
  4.  Parental mental health
  5.  Traumatic separation & bereavement
  6.  Parental substance abuse

“This new direction brings a holistic mind, body and heart approach to our work based on recent developments in the understanding of human development and how the brain works and builds on Barnardos’ approach to delivering essential services for some of the most vulnerable in our society,” added Connolly.



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