Drugs task force


Published on

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Drugs task force

  1. 1. John Bennett 25/05/2010 Finglas/Cabra Local Drug Task Force Annual Review Meeting Report December 2009 1
  2. 2. John Bennett 25/05/2010 Finglas/Cabra Local Drug Task Force annual review meeting 4th December 2009, 9.30am – 1.00pm Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry Chair: Joey Furlong Agenda 9.30 Tea/Coffee 9.45 Welcome & introductions 10.00 An overview of the Task Force year (John Bennett) 10.20 Sub-committee presentations • Treatment & Rehabilitation (Barbara Condon) • Supply Reduction & Estate Management (Niall Counihan) • Prevention & Education (Emma Keenoy) 10.50 Questions & clarifications (Joey Furlong) 11.10 Evaluation & planning small group-work • What worked in 2009? • What should we do less of in 2010? • What should we prioritise in 2010? 11.45 Feedback from small groups (Facilitated by JB) 12.00 Session Summing-up (Joey Furlong) 12.15 Session close Lunch in the hotel carvery 2
  3. 3. John Bennett 25/05/2010 Attendance at the review session Name Organisation LDTF Committee Joey Furlong Community rep Task Force Chairman John Bennett LDTF Coordinator LDTF Staff Emma Keenoy LDTF Project Worker LDTF Staff Niall Counihan CCPF Coordinator Supply Reduction Fergus Synnott Dublin City Council Supply Reduction & Task Force Stat. rep Terry Kelleher Dublin City Council Treatment & Rehabilitation Ann Ansbro Probation & Welfare Task Force Barbara Condon FAST T&R & Task Force voluntary sector rep Barbara Leonard Voyages Programme Treatment & Rehabilitation Matt Travers HSE Addiction Service Task Force Cathryn O’Reilly Cabra Resource Centre Treatment & Rehabilitation Sandy Durham Focus Ireland Treatment & Rehabilitation Kevin Smullen VEC Adult Education Task Force Fergal Murphy Phoenix Aftercare Treatment & Rehabilitation Tony Byrne Community rep Supply Reduction 3
  4. 4. John Bennett 25/05/2010 1. Overview of 2009 1.1 The review session began with a look back over matters which consumed a large part of the LDTF agenda LDTF during 2009. These included: 1.2 Funding reductions Concerns about the reduction in the funding allocation to LDTFs. Fortunately Finglas/Cabra was in a position to absorb the reduction it experienced using unspent funding from 2008. 1.3 2nd Government budget The second Government budget caused uncertainty in the planning and delivery of LDTF funded projects. It was not until June that LDTF projects knew for certain what funding they would have in the second six months of the year. Gladly, the LDTFs were assured that this would not happen again in 2010. 1.4 Wellmount Reports on violent incidents among clients and others outside Wellmount were given much attention by the LDTF in 2009. A communication group made up of parents local school children, School Principals, Gardaí, HSE Clinic Management, A City Councillor and the LDTF Coordinator was convened to identify solution to the problem. After a number of very honest and frank discussions the HSE agreed to re-arrange the opening times of the clinic, so that they did not clash with the school opening and closing times. The Garda agreed to be extra visible in the area of the clinic. This arrangement will begin in December and will be reviewed in 2010. 1.5 FAST premises After a complex process of consultation, the FAST building project received its planning permission form Dublin City Council. The planning permission was then appealed and FAST now awaits the decision of An Bord Pleanala. This decision may not be made until March 2010 due to back logs at the Bord. 4
  5. 5. John Bennett 25/05/2010 1.6 National Drug Strategy Team Sadly the National Drug Strategy Team was discontinued by the Minister for Drugs. It was acknowledged by all involved in the LDTFs that the NDST played a key role in arresting the destruction caused by the heroin epidemic and galvanising the response of by the state and its agencies to the problem. The amount of lives saved by all who’ve worked in this initiative is inestimable. 1.7 National Drug Strategy 2009-2016 The Government launched its interim National Drug Strategy in September 2009. The strategy was designated interim to allow for a subsequent inclusion of actions to address alcohol related problems in 2010. 1.8 Office of Minister for Drugs As part of the implementation of the National Strategy an Office of the Minister for Drugs was established in November 2009. This office replaces the administrative and policy coordination role of the NDST. 5
  6. 6. John Bennett 25/05/2010 2. Supply Reduction & Estate Management Report 2.1 Garda drug reports The local Garda Drug Squad reported at sub-committee meetings that they had made a number of significant drug seizures in 2009. The valuable work done by the Gardaí was acknowledged by the Task Force. The apparent variance in drug seizures by the Garda between Finglas & Cabra was discussed. It was pointed out that in regards to drugs Finglas and Cabra had different characteristics and this may account for the variance. 2.2 The Garda also reported that a new CAB profiler is available to local Garda. This will continue to be a very effective additional resource to the Garda in their work. The Community Unit at Finglas was increased from 13-15 in 2009 bring much needed additional Gardaí to the area. 2.3 The new district court at Blanchardstown was opened and it was agreed that this should address the need for a community based court contained in the LDTF strategic plan. 2.4 Arising for the work on the LDTF strategic objective seeking to reduce drug dealing from private rented accommodation by those who have been evicted by DCC. Following Dublin City Council’s communications with the HSE in regards to this matter, the current policy is that an individual will not be eligible for rent allowance from the HSE, if he/she is not eligible to be on the DCC housing list. An individual cannot get on the DCC housing list if he/she has been evicted for drug dealing from a DCC tenancy. This policy goes some way towards reducing continued of drug dealing from private rented accommodation by individuals who have been evicted from a DCC tenancy. 2.5 Using the resources of the SNAP project, two under-age drinking awareness campaigns were organised in 2009. One was focused on the reducing the use of 6
  7. 7. John Bennett 25/05/2010 alcohol by young people during celebrations following the announcement of the Leaving Cert results and another focused on proxy buying of alcohol by adults for young people. 2.6 Dial to Stop Drug Dealing A local launch of the Dial to Report Drugs phone line was organised in Finglas. 7
  8. 8. John Bennett 25/05/2010 3. Prevention & Education 3.1 Meetings in 2009 The meetings of the Prevention and Education Sub-Committee were restructured to increase their relevance to the sectors attending. The sub-committee meetings were reduced and to allow for sectoral cluster meetings of those involve in the various aspects of P&E work locally i.e. Youth, Schools and Community. 3.2 Youth Cluster The Youth Cluster worked on the provision of the training in Motivational Interviewing to local youth work staff. 13 of youth workers participated. Basic Drug Awareness Training was also organised for youth workers from the 3 main local youth services. 3.3 School Cluster The School Cluster worked on the provision of the training in Motivational Interviewing to local Teachers responsible for the implementation of SPHE. Basic Drug Awareness Training was also organised for local teachers. 3.4 Crack Cocaine training Training was organised by the LDTF staff on Crack Cocaine for the staff of local services. The training was well received and the quality of the trainer was acknowledged. 3.6 Strengthening Families Programme Local staff trained in the delivery of the Strengthening Families Programme were brought together to plan the implementation of the programme in Finglas/Cabra. An implementation plan was agreed and the programme will take place in early 2010. 3.7 The After School Projects fund provided 22 grants to local schools and youth services in 2009. Projects included art therapy, drama therapy etc. 8
  9. 9. John Bennett 25/05/2010 4. Treatment & Rehabilitation 4.1 New Aftercare Service A new Aftercare Service began in 2009 based on the Aftercare work developed by FAST in 2008. Two aftercare groups are now operating locally providing support to 20 men and women. One group is based at the Cabra Resource Centre and the other continues to operate from FAST premises in Finglas. 4.2 New cocaine counselling service in Cabra A new cocaine counselling was started at Cabra Resource Centre. Additional cocaine services also began in Finglas supported by FAST a report on this service indicates a 100% increase in demand for support from people experiencing problems arising from cocaine use. 4.3 Housing Survey A housing survey report carried out by members of the sub-committee in 2008 was finalised and indicated that accommodation problems were a major issue for people in contact with drug services locally. 4.4 Dormant Accounts funds for family support projects Three Family Support Projects were recommended by the Task Force for funding from the Dormant Accounts. These projects have all started to receive this funding and should be completed by the end of 2010. 4.5 HSE Rehabilitation & Integration Service A disappointing outcome of the reduction in the HSE Rehabilitation and Integration Service locally is their ending of their client assessment role with the Voyages Programme. 4.6 Inter-agency activity mapping exercise A mapping exercise was organised by the LDTF with services involved in the Treatment & Rehabilitation Sub-Committee to capture the type of client difficulty 9
  10. 10. John Bennett 25/05/2010 and number of clients’ local services were dealing with in a given week. The exercise indicated that accommodation generated the most common client difficulty being dealt with by local 4.8 Meeting with Judge McMahon Members of the sub-committee attended a meeting with Judge McMahon at Blanchardstown District Court. The Judge suggested that it would be helpful if the court had a greater awareness of what local statutory and voluntary services could offer to people who had addiction problems that come before him. The discussion that followed this meeting and the Mapping Exercise highlighted that local agencies are effectively blocked from working more closely together by their client confidentiality policies. 4.9 Case Study exercise To explore this further a case study was presented at a sub-committee meeting by the Probation & Welfare Service. This confirmed that even thought the case had relevance to all agencies represented on the sub-committee they could not disclose if they knew the person involved due to confidentiality policies etc. 4.10 Inter-agency memorandum of understanding Following this the view was taken that a memorandum of understanding facilitating a safe disclosure of case information at sub-committee level would be helpful to the progress of these cases and assist the agencies involved to provide a more effective service to their clients. A draft memorandum was put together by the LDTF Coordinator based on the work of other similar initiatives. The draft is now waiting on each of the agencies represented on the sub-committee to formally sign up to the operation of it. This is expected to happen early in 2010. 4.12 Project Progress Reports Project progress reports were presented at sub-committee meetings on a number of occasions during 2009. The Bridge to the Workplace programme 10
  11. 11. John Bennett 25/05/2010 made a presentation on the work experience preparation and placement work they do with recovering drug users. Presentations were also made on the new Aftercare Project and reports on the new cocaine services provided by FAST and Cabra resource centre were also received. 4.13 LDTF Progression Fund The LDTF Progression Fund was fully utilised in 2009 to support 33 individuals in their recovery process. 4.14 LDTF Residential Rehabilitation Fund In 2009 the LDTF Residential Rehabilitation Fund supported 4 individuals to attend the Camino Centre near Edenderry. The following are some of the matters the sub-committee aim to address on in 2009: 4.15 FAS participation in the sub-committee It was reported that FAS representation at the sub-committee needs to be addressed. There has been no representation from FAS on the sub-committee for over a year. 4.16 HSE participation in the sub-committee The representation by the HSE Drug Service on the sub-committee was resolved. Mr Achal Gupta (Pharmacist) took on the role on behalf of the HSE. 11
  12. 12. John Bennett 25/05/2010 5. Feedback from small groups 5.1 Following the presentations the meeting was organised into three small groups and asked to report back to the meeting on the following: • What worked well in 2010? • What should we do less of in 2010? • What should our priorities be in 2010? 5.2 What worked well in 2010? o The After school projects fund – supported a wide range of prevention initiatives in local schools o The collaborative process used to seek a solution to issues at Wellmount Clinic o Communication between organisations working together to prevent crisis and aid clients o The work put into the establishment of the new Phoenix Aftercare Project and the work it is now doing o Motivational Interviewing skills training organised by the Task Force was seen as a positive and useful intervention for local youth workers and teachers o Cocaine training event organised by the Task Force – multi-agency approach was cost effective o Young people and alcohol public awareness campaigns organised by the Task Force o The additional cocaine funding allowed the services involved to respond to growing demand for support from the community o Garda reports drug seizure reports o Treatment & Rehabilitation sub-committee o Treatment & Rehabilitation work on producing a Memorandum of Understanding on case management o Awareness Finglas/Cabra Review Overall the Task Force is considered to be working well 12
  13. 13. John Bennett 25/05/2010 5.3 What should we do less of in 2010? Sustain the work that has been built-up Organisations less protective of service and professional boundaries Reduce inefficiency in the use of resources Less talk of reasons for not doing something – more talk of the things we can do Less insular working, more collaborative working Less rigidity, more flexible thinking on roles, job descriptions Subject to forthcoming budget, re-prioritise LDTF objectives for the coming year Review the agenda structure of Task Force meeting – too much time spent on matters arising Maintain and sustain current local services 5.4 What should our priorities by in 2010? All local staff will have to pull together in the community interest Accommodation needs of clients – NAMA possibilities Review Local Drug Task Force strategic plan Maintaining all existing baseline services that can’t be done without Identify ways of making greater use of existing services Develop structures that support more effective ways of working together e.g. case management Putting inter-agency work principles and methods into practice Continue to develop the draft Memorandum of Understanding on case management Seek further information and clarity on how the seized drug money is re- distributed back into the community Support the implementation of the Strengthening Families Programme Work for the successful completion of the new premises for Finglas Addiction Support Team Promote the need for an active master planning approach to the Wellmount Shops and Services area Monitoring reductions in local public and social services 13
  14. 14. John Bennett 25/05/2010 6. Summary of Community Based Drug Projects Funded by Finglas/Cabra LDTF in 2009 Project Community Development Resource Fund Development of Active Parenting Programme Expansion of Garda Juvenile Diversion Task Force Administration Worker Cabra Community Policing Forum Project Task Force Project Support Worker Residential Rehabilitation Fund FAST Drop in Centre Let's Start Programme Programme for Drug Using Parents The Range Programme Voyages Bridge to Employment Promote & Set Up Family Support Groups Establish "Drug Free Support Groups" Drug Addiction Awareness Courses Contribute to New Counselling Service After School Initiative Fund Development of SNAP Campaign Cabra Cocaine Worker FAST Colaiste Eoin Equine Project Football Focus Finglas Against Drugs Cocaine Counselling Finglas/Cabra Aftercare Additional Cocaine Services 14
  15. 15. John Bennett 25/05/2010 7. Finglas/Cabra Local Drug Task Force Members Name Organisation Joey Furlong Cabra Community rep. Inspector Duff An Garda Síochána Matt Travers HSE Drug Treatment Service Cllr D. Ellis Dublin City Council Cllr S. McGrattan Dublin City Council Cllr Redmond Dublin City Council Michael O’Riordan FAS Jimmy Malone Dept of Education & Science Margaret Geraghty Dublin City Council, Finglas Fergus Synnott Dublin City Council, Cabra Ann Ansbro Probation Service Kevin Smullen City of Dublin VEC, adult ed. Martina Buckley Cabra Aftercare Project Joan Duffy Cabra R.C. Sean Coultry Cabra Community Rep Barbara Condon FAST (voluntary sec) John Bennett LDTF Coordinator Mary Ryan Fingal Centre (voluntary sec) Vivienne O’Brien Drug Advisory Group Liaison Debbie Whelan Community – Finglas South Michelle Culligan Community – Finglas West 15