Reclaiming Community Development as an Effective Response to Drug Harms, Po...

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Louis Fitzgerald Hotel

Naas Rd

D22 X5N7 Newlands Cross


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In 2015, mindful of the significant changes in the local and national context the CDATF commissioned a piece of research to assess the changes in drug trends and drug related harms; analyse the changes in the economic and policy environment, assess the impact of the introduction of austerity policies and inform its future strategic planning.

The research study ‘Drug Harms, Policy Harms, Poverty and Inequality’ (O’Gorman, 2016) was launched at the CDATF national conference in April 2016. The first and most important implication of the research findings for the CDATF strategic planning process was the impossibility of responding to drug and alcohol misuse in isolation and it demonstrated the strong links between drug and alcohol misuse and a range of other factors, most of these being associated with poverty and inequality. The report made the case that government policies were themselves adding to problems rather than addressing them and crucially, significant emphasis was placed on the need to rebuild the community and partnership based model that has effectively been dismantled.

In July 2017 the Government published its new National Drugs Strategy ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery’ a health led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017 – 2015’. The New Strategy recognised that partnership working between the statutory, community and voluntary sectors was a major factor in the success of the previous National Drugs Strategies and outlined the key role of DATF’s in coordinating interagency action at local level.

Against this background in 2017 the CDATF engaged in a strategic planning process involving a range of stakeholders in the Clondalkin community including those providing services. The aims of this year’s CDATF conference is to launch the CDATF strategic plan 2018 – 2025 ‘Reclaiming Community Development as an Effective Response to Drug Harms, Policy Harms, Poverty and Inequality’

The conference will also provide the opportunity for key stakeholders to

  • Discuss the key issues and challenges facing the community/voluntary sector in the current social, political and economic context.
  • Explore ways of demonstrating the value and effectiveness of community development approaches in responding to drug harms policy harms, poverty and inequality.

Conference Programme

9.30: Registration Tea and coffee

10.00 – 10.10: Introduction to Conference –Sandra Mullen CDATF Coordinator

10.10 – 10.30: Minister of State for the National Drugs Strategy Catherine Byrne T.D.,

Launch of CDATF New Local Drugs and Alcohol Strategy 2018 - 2015

10.30 – 10.50: Brian Dillon, Nexus Research Cooperative

Overview of the CDATF Strategic Planning Process and New Local Drugs and Alcohol Strategy 2018 – 2025

10.50 – 11.10: Short Film Presentation – Theatre Club

11.10 – 11.30: Tea and Coffee

11.30 – 11.45: Paul Ginell, Director of the European Anti-Poverty Network

European Policy and its Impact in the Irish Community and Voluntary Sector Context

11.45 – 12.10: Joe Larragy,

Lecturer in Social Policy,Department of Social Science, Maynooth University

Social Partnership and the Relationship between the Community / Voluntary Sector and the State

12.10 – 1.10: Lunch

1.10 – 1.30: Anna Quigley, Coordinator of Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign and community representative on the National Drugs Strategy Implementation Committee.

Experience of Engaging with Structures of the National Drugs Strategy

1.30 – 1.50: Graham Atwell, Associate Fellow, Institute of Employment Research, University of Warwick and Gastwissenschaftler at the Insitit Technic und Bildung, University of Bremen

Measuring Outcomes and Demonstrating the Value of Community Development Approaches

1.50 – 2.15: Kitty Holland, Journalist with the Irish Times

Chair of Panel Discussion

2.15 – 2.30 Ray McGrath –Community Activist and Chairperson of the Clondalkin Drug and Alcohol Task Force

Conference Closing Statement

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Louis Fitzgerald Hotel

Naas Rd

D22 X5N7 Newlands Cross


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