18th December 2017

Coming in to a new year, we are reflecting on the interesting year it has been in 2017 as we strive to assist our partners in the Department of Health, HSE Mental Health, Social Care and the National Dementia Office, to support those who have mental health difficulties, disabilities and dementia, to live self-determined lives in their communities. We always knew service transformation wasn't going to be easy but we've been energised and inspired by the dedication of our colleagues, within government and non-governmental organisations with whom we work. Of course, the main inspiration for all of us involved, across agencies, comes from the experiences of the individuals and families we meet. 

Genio will be 10 years old next year. In 2008, we did not dare to hope that we would be here 10 years later, having had the opportunity to help demonstrate that supporting people in personalised ways produces better outcomes and is more cost-effective than traditional, standardised services. It took five years; €24m; numerous information and training events; and 66 researchers and research assistants in 8 universities and research institutes to provide clear evidence that this is the case. Between 2010 and 2015 funding was awarded to 226 initiatives through the Genio Trust to support over 8,000 people to be provided with personalised services. Over 19,000 people, including family members and staff working in services, have received information and training to support the implementation of personalised supports throughout the country. There is no doubt that putting people at the heart of the design and delivery of services makes for better lives and better use of resources – public and private - to meet growing needs.

Since 2015 we have continued to work with our partners to increase the availability of opportunities for people to live the lives they chose through our dementia programme and through our partnership with Government on the Service Reform Fund – a €45m fund dedicated to scaling alignment of practice with national policy to individualise disability services and to re-focus mental health services in a recovery-orientated direction.

As Genio enters its 10th year in 2018, we would like to pay special tribute the Atlantic Philanthropies for their vision in supporting service reform in the interests of those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. As Atlantic’s investment comes to an end we look forward to continuing their legacy over the coming years. In particular, we will be moving to apply the expertise we have been enabled to develop, to new areas of need starting with homelessness. We look forward to developing our new relationship with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in addition to continuing to work with our colleagues in the Department of Health and the HSE.
We are also aware that the work we are doing to personalise services has a global, as well as national context. With that in mind we are exploring ways in which Genio can be helpful at a European level.

Service Reform Fund
The Service Reform Fund (SRF) was established in 2015 by the Department of Health, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the HSE and Genio and represents a total combined investment of €45m by the Department and Atlantic. This fund is being used to re-configure existing services in disability and mental health, towards more person-centred supports, in-line with government policy. At an international level, the SRF is a cutting-edge example of how government and philanthropy can collaborate and create lasting transformation for people who need support to lead self-determined lives in the community. Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly TD announced in November 2017 that €9m from the SRF has been awarded in grants to support the reform of mental health services. Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath TD, also announced €4.5m from the SRF to support the reform of disability services. This funding is being allocated through regional HSE representatives (i.e. Community Healthcare Organisations).

Supported Self-Directed Living (SSDL)
Congratulations to the 24 students who completed the SSDL 14 Day Practitioner course 2017. This was a challenging course aimed at frontline staff, supervisors & managers and took place over a period of 10 months. Successful participants will graduate in 2018 from Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) with a Certificate in Supported Self-Directed Living, an accredited level 6 Special Purpose Award. AIT was named the Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year 2017. Watch this 4 minute film of feedback from some of the participants.

HSE & Genio Dementia Programme
The HSE & Genio Dementia Programme has been undertaking a wide range of work this year and we will be publishing findings, stories and reports in 2018. As part of this work, we have been supporting three hospital-based consortia to develop an integrated care pathway for people with dementia. These projects have undergone extensive evaluation and further films, information and learnings will be released in the new year. In the meantime, get a flavour for the work through this 5 minute introductory film.

On behalf of all the team in Genio, I would again, like to extend my gratitude for the ongoing support we have received from so many people, and to acknowledge the work of all our colleagues and partners. Special thanks to our Board of Directors, chaired by Shay Garvey and the Board of the Genio Trust, chaired by Prof Brían MacCraith, all of whom generously give their time on a voluntary basis.

Wherever you are I hope that you have the support you need to live the life of your choosing. I wish you and your colleagues the best for 2018.
Warm regards,

Madeleine Clarke | Executive Director
Genio - Transforming Social Services

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19-21 Westland Square
Pearse St., Dublin 2, D02 YH27, Ireland
Phone +353 1 707 1700
Email [email protected]