On Thursday 17th August, YAP Ireland hosted its national event, an amazing day full of inspiring work, stories and songs from young people, families and stakeholders! entitled “Building Strengths Together”.

YAP Ireland works with children and young people with a range of complex needs using a strengths-based, family focused approach. We have a ‘no reject, no eject’ policy and a ‘never give up’ approach. YAP Ireland puts in place flexible, tailored plans for each young person and their families, to support them to achieve their goals, and to build up supports that will remain in place after the programme has ended. The programme typically lasts 6 months, with up to 15 hours of one-to-one support per week.

Our way of working has proven to be an incredibly successful method of improving outcomes for young people, with 81% of the young people we worked with in 2022 showing an improvement in their emotional wellbeing, 81% showing an improvement in self -esteem and confidence, and 71% showing improvement in their relationships to their community. 91% of those who were living at home when they commenced with YAP remained at home at the end of the programme.

Siobhán O’Dwyer, YAP Ireland CEO speaking at the event said, “The issue of sustainability, and how we can all work to improve it, is so important to the young people we work with. The projects they have presented today focus on the issues they are facing within the community and on how we can work to solve these problems.”

“The young people have been working with YAP staff on these projects throughout the year with all the ideas coming from the young people themselves. Our young people, families, and advocates are engaging with the theme of sustainability by creating self-care booklets, local gardens, and by producing documents on family relationships and dealing with conflict.”

“The projects represent the wide range of experiences that young people have around sustainability and the variety of ways that they find to express their thoughts on the issue. It’s vital for us in YAP Ireland that we support the young people and families we work with to use their voices to find solutions to the issues they are facing. This annual event is a cornerstone in our work to amplify the voices of young people and parents in society. It’s wonderful to see young people who have faced such difficulty in their lives work together and create such powerful and inspirational projects, and to get the opportunity to present them to key decision-makers and professionals from social work, youth and mental health and disability sectors as well as a range of community partners.”

YAP Ireland would like to extend a thank you to the representatives from The Ombudsman for Children’s Office , Tusla – Child and Family Agency , Oberstown Campus , Daughters of Charity Child and Family Services , and Childhood Matters among others for attending.

A video of the days events is now available online via the YAP Ireland Youtube channel here.

You can also view YAP Ireland’s 2022 Annual Report and 2023-26 Strategic plan via the YAP website here.