Irish Local Development Network

Promoting and supporting the work of Local Development Companies in Ireland

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New Futures Programme — Supporting Lone Parents into Employment in Galway City

New Futures is an activation programme for lone parents that has been run annually by Galway City Partnership since 2010.

Not just another course

The programme begins with Personal Development looking at the issues that face lone parents on their way back to work, training or education.

The second element of the programme is about preparing for their future and focuses on developing skills such as goal setting, problem solving and planning.  Programme participants then use all of these skills to create an action plan for themselves around returning / entering the workplace, training or education.

The programme is unique in that it is not just a course but a course with a wraparound service that includes childcare and parental support, access to counselling services if needed and a key worker who works with the participant to ensure that they keep on track.

The programme was funded in 2010 by One Family and since then by Department of Social Protection and Galway City Partnership in 2011 and 2012.

According to an evaluation of New Futures carried out by Dr Seamus Morrissey

  • As outlined in the Self Esteem Scale, over the period of the course the self-esteem levels of the sample group increased as a result of the course.  This is a particularly strong outcome of this course supported by the quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Of the participants on New Futures in 2010 and 2011, 95% of those who finished the programme have achieved a FETAC award - 94% of these at level 4 and 6% at level 5.
  • 31% of participants are in employment and 58% are in training or education.

Quotes from participants in New Futures in 2010

 “The main benefits for me are that I am more focused on getting a job and I made new friends”

“My children are delighted and proud, they want Mum to get a job now”

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