Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has said that families are the backbone of our society, who we turn to in times of stress or worry and that vulnerable families should be supported and encouraged.  He was speaking as he launched the Evaluation Report on the successful Strengthening Families Programme which was commissioned by Kildare’s Children and Young Peoples Services Committee (CYPSC).

“The Strengthening Families Programme commenced in Kildare in 2008 and has run for consecutive years from 2013 in Newbridge, Athy and Celbridge.  The 14 week course is designed to support and assist families who face difficulties or who are struggling to cope with life’s challenges.  Speakers at the launch included representatives from key agencies supporting the programme including Tusla, Foroige, Kildare Leader Partnership, HSE, Family Resource Centres, Drugs Task Force and An Garda Siochana.

“The findings of the evaluation report support the strong work of the programme in Kildare but highlight the challenge of only being able to run one programme per year in Kildare which means it needs to be divided around different regional centres such as Newbridge, Athy and Celbridge. Ideally there should be one programme in each of these centres per year.

“With one of the largest youth populations in the Country and growing demand for programmes such as this, the need is clearly evident.  I will fight to obtain increased funding for this programme to allow it to support even more Kildare families in the coming years.