The Western Area Outcomes Group Strengthening Support for Families Returning to School and Learning


In March 2021 the Western Area Outcomes Group ran a very timely training session to assist practitioners when supporting families return to education. The WAOG recognised that the COVID 19 pandemic has been a unique situation experienced by both the family and practitioner.  

Nearly seventy practitioners from a range of disciplines, including the Community and Voluntary Sector; EANI and WHSCT listened to Christine Davies, Trauma Informed Schools UK. Christine explained to the audience that lockdown and school closures must be considered as a traumatic experience. Christine eloquently described this as “The Same Storm……Different Boats” – everyone has experienced this, but maybe in different ways in relation to their situation, in different measures and at different times. These experiences may have included;

  • Sudden, unwanted change over which they have no control
  • Experience of loss
    • Friends
    • Significant relationships with adults
    • Routine, structure, order, safety
    • Freedom to act
    • The ability to mark milestones
    • Bereavement
  • Isolation
  • Fear
  • Uncertainty
  • Dysregulated adults
  • Poverty
  • Increased risk of domestic abuse

Christine offered participants both the underpinning theory and practical application to enable them to better understand the impact of the crisis and move forward to find a new normal. This included;

  • Re-experiencing the world as safe
  • Acknowledging losses
  • The science and practice of gratitude
  • Supporting transition back to school
  • Re-affirming connection and belonging
  • Understanding the impact of the pandemicon behaviour
  • Incorporating learning into practice –finding a new normal

Priscilla Magee Fermanagh and Omagh Locality Planning Officer

First Meeting to Renew & Refresh Strabane Locality Group

The first meeting to renew and refresh the Strabane Locality Planning Group took place on 25 February 2021. 

The meeting was attended by representatives from 16 organisations delivering services in the Strabane area.  The members were given a presentation on the CYPSP model and connections within structures, the purpose of Locality Planning, and examples of work taking place in other Locality Groups.  The Strabane Family Support Hub presented information on referrals to the Hub over the past year. 

A constructive discussion took place about main issues affecting families in the area, gaps in services and how the LPG members can work in partnership.

Rionghach Murphy, Chair of Strabane Locality Planning Group said “I am excited to be a part of Strabane’s renewed approach to Locality Planning.  Organisations are keen to rejuvenate and develop the group to identify keys areas for progress and create strong Community, Voluntary and statutory relationships”

MACE Project in Northern Ireland: Children’s/Family Services Tender Opportunity Now Open!

MACE Project in Northern Ireland: Children’s/Family Services Tender Opportunity Now Open!

Interested in being listed as a Provider on the Northern Ireland MACE Dynamic Framework Agreement for the provision of Trauma Informed and Trauma Specific Interventions?

For information on how to apply go to:  Tender closes 30th April 2021

Instructions to register to attend a Zoom Awareness Session scheduled for 12th April 2021.

Please note if you wish to attend you must request the Awareness Session joining instructions via the eTendersNI portal before 3pm on Friday 9th April 2021.

As part of this reopening the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT) on behalf of CAWT (Co-operation and Working Together) MACE Project wish to hold an awareness session for interested tenderers. This awareness session will be held on Monday 12 April 2021 via Zoom. If you wish to attend this session please register your interest in this Call for Tender (CfT) on eTendersNI, under resource ID 3441681 and send a message through the messaging portal requesting joining instructions before 3pm on Friday 9th April 2021.

We hope to conclude this process by the end of may and be in a position to procure services as soon as the needs are identified for families thereafter.

So far within the SHSCT, we have identified an immediate need for:

  1. Youth/Family support on a one to one basis.
  1. Therapeutic support for young people directly affected by trauma & Covid related stress.
  1. Sleep deprivation programmes/counselling.
  1. Programmes to reduce anxiety related to school transition during Covid era.
  1. Internet Safety Programmes for young people and parents.