The launch of the Family First interim report took place on Friday 18th January at Pinsent Masons, Belfast.  The event provided the team with an opportunity to showcase the work of the Family First Project, as well as thinking about how they can improve the quality of life for those affected by brain injury and plug gaps in services.

The Big Lottery Fund NI provided the financial resources to enable the team to provide evidence based interventions to families and children with acquired brain injury.  Brain Injury Matters partnered with the Department of Psychological Services of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust whose clinical and research work suggested that family functioning was often a greater predictor of outcomes for a child with any chronic illness or disability than the severity of the injury or illness per se.

Referrals to the Family First project, as per this three year evaluation, have been almost double the targets set.  Referrals (including an encouraging 42% self-referrals) have come from across all health trusts in the region, with demographic and clinical data suggesting hard to reach families, and children and families with greatest psychosocial, have accessed the project.  The accessibility of the project services, including filling a gap in services generally, and those aimed at families in particular, was a marked theme in family and referrer outcome data.

Overall there is much evidence in the evaluation to suggest that this project is meeting its aims and objectives well.  Accessibility, acceptability and effectiveness were all high and it is recommended that this project continue as planned but in the next year pursue a sustainability strategy for the longer term.

To download a copy of the Family First Report, just click on the link below;

The_Family_First_Project_Interim_evaluation_report_December_18.pdf

Pictures from the event;

L to R: Joe Mc Vey (CEO Brain Injury Matters); Dr Nicola Doherty (Consultant Lead Clinical Psychologist, Western Health & Social Care Trust); Dr Eunan Mc Crudden (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Belfast Health & Social Care Trust); Dr Sarah Meekin (Head of Psychological Services, Belfast Health & Social Care Trust); Dr Chris Mc Cusker (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork); Bridget Smyth (Children's Services Manager, Family First Project, Brain Injury Matters); Catherine Quinn (Associate Psychologist, Family First Project, Brain Injury Matters); Meg Irwin (Family Practitioner, Family First Project, Brain Injury Matters); Elizabeth Downey (Parent) and Jill Boyd (Parent).

Dr Eunan Mc Crudden (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Belfast Health & Social Care Trust)

Dr Chris Mc Cusker (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, School of Applied Psychology, University Colllege Cork)

Dr Nicola Doherty (Consultant Lead Clinical Psychologist, Western Health & Social Care Trust)

Gordon Gough (Chairman of Board of Directors, Brain Injury Matters)