Background to KYSS
KYSS was formed in 2010, in response to the need to provide support and services to young people and their families in Kinsale and the surrounding areas. A voluntary led organisation comprising of representatives from the community including JLO, Garda, GP’s, teachers, counsellors, HSE, community/voluntary sector, local business people and most importantly young people from the area. It provides support to a population in excess of 10,000 households with the emphasis on the health and well-being of the young person and their families.
Initially, the group examined the challenges facing young people in particular drugs, alcohol and mental health. From lengthy discussion on the above topics, it was decided that the first approach would be Awareness. It was felt that if we as an organisation were able to generate Awareness around the issues facing Young People and members of our community, then we could provide them with the information and support to face these challenges.
Service provisions & priorities.
- It is providing additional needs to young people and families through its service as well as low cost counselling, preventative and awareness events, Mise booklet and APP etc.
- It is providing supports to young people and families in need through the school and community which is allowing them to participate better in active learning.
- Provision of supports and wider access to community services giving young people stability and the knowledge that support is available when required.
- The service is provided free and is accessible to all in the community regardless of economic circumstances. This ensures that people wanting to access the service are secure in knowing that it will not be an additional economic burden on the home.
- This is a whole community response to the needs of young people and their families. This network involves all the key service providers from the public, private and voluntary sectors with the focus on building a team around the child and family to meet their additional needs. It contributes to healthier lifestyles, positive mental health, positive relationships, developing self-confidence and successfully deal with challenges and transitions in young peoples lives, engage in law-abiding behaviour, achieve personal social development and know there is a positive network on hand to support them in times of need.
In terms of the area based approach KYSS is a collaborative network which provides integrated services to children and families in the catchment area, it is well integrated with the statutory services including Primary Care team and local GP’S and it provides supports if required to the frontline. It is a holistic health and well-being project led by the voluntary sector supporting the most vulnerable children and families.
KYSS is a limited company with charitable status. It is governed by a Board of Directors and a Management Committee which meets monthly. It has a number of sub groups who have responsibility for key areas of development. It has Referral Committee which meets monthly with the Health Support Worker to discuss referrals to the service and appropriate action to be taken etc.
Policies and Procedures including Human Resource & Child Protection policies and procedures in place.
Audited Accounts, Annual Reports, A.G.M. are carried out annually.
Twenty people providing an average of half a day per week, which equates to 500-person days per annum.
The key to the success of KYSS to date, has been the capacity and willingness of all players public, private and voluntary to develop a structure and work collaboratively using all available resources to support children and families at community level. It is led by the voluntary sector and operates very professionally in terms of governance, service provision etc.
As a group we are not selfish. We believe this model works and an opportunity exists for it to be rolled out in many other communities in Ireland. However, we must keep our focus local. We must continue to provide supports and services collaboratively at a community level to improve the outcomes for children and families.