Irish Family Carers Participate In European Research Project

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Mon Feb 08 2010

Ireland’s participation in the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013, the Leonardo da Vinci Cosefamie Project is now entering its second year with partners from France, Corsica, Italy, Sicily, Slovakia, Belgium and Spain.

The programme’s lead Irish agency, Caring for Carers Ireland says it hopes to double the number of Irish carers participating in the project in 2010 by holding a series of workshops throughout the country.

According to Brigid Barron, Innovation and Programme Manager, Caring for Carers Ireland: "We hosted a European Conference in Ennis last year from where a grid of skills was identified by our European partners and employers as prerequisites for the employability of Family Carers. It was acknowledged that to equip Family Carers with these skills an improvement in the quality of education generally is to be welcomed. Many Family Carers may have to leave the labour market prematurely or may not have the necessary training to reintegrate into the workforce."

"Family Carers need to make additional efforts, not just on the job front, but also socially and psychologically, in order to have a chance of competing with those more fortunate than themselves and thus to boost their options of employment and harmonious living in society. Consequently, the Leonardo da Vinci programme continues to focus on vocational education and training to improve quality, foster innovation and promote the European dimension of training systems and good practices in the provision of care in the home. The requirements of today's challenging labour market constantly calls for updating of knowledge and professional skills so, more than ever, life-long learning is essential for everyone", she added.

Meanwhile, Family Carers interested in participating in the Project and discussing issues affecting the sector are being invited to attend Caring for Carers Ireland 19th Annual Respite Weekend & Conference in the Radisson Blu Hotel Galway on 26th to 28th February 2010.

Over 500 carers group members from all over the island of Ireland have so far confirmed their attendance at the Conference, entitled ‘Sustaining Long Term Carers: A Fair Deal for Family Carers?’. Speakers scheduled to address the Conference include Minister Áine Brady TD, Dept. Health & Children; Paschal Moynihan, Director Services for Older People HSE West "Fair Deal"; Marian Harkin MEP; Minister Eamon O’Cuív; Dept. Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; and Prof. Joyce O’Connor, Patron Caring for Carers Ireland, Chair of the Digital Hub and Dublin Inner City Partnership, and former President of the National College of Ireland.

According to Ms. Barron: "The objective of this conference is to set out the vision of Caring for Carers Ireland in relation to future policy. The debate will further a deeper understanding of and commitment to the development of an integrated and co-ordinated community care service. It will also acknowledge the Family Carer as a key partner in care provision, in particular long term care in the community".

"The issues for discussion at this conference will contribute to the national debate on the future of caring in the community and strategy to support a fair and equitable system for Family Carers in challenging times", she concluded.

Caring for Carers Ireland, is a is a national non-governmental organisation supporting Family Carers. Its primary objective is to ensure that policy makers are aware of the key issues which impact on the lives of 161,000 Family Carers and influence their abilities to continue to provide care.

For further information on the Leonardo da Vinci Cosefamie Project or the Caring for Carers Ireland 19th Annual Respite Weekend & Conference visit or contact 065-6866515.


Notes to Editor:
- Brigid Barron is available for interview on 086-6011971.
- A high resolution image relating to the Leonardo da Vinci Cosefamie Project may be downloaded from
- Further information is available from Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on 086-8534900 or
- Caring for Carers Ireland - Caring for Carers Ireland promotes the Health, Wellbeing and Quality of life of Family Carers and those for whom they care by promoting recognition, providing respite care, information, training and advocacy to promote Social Inclusion, within the context of The Carers' Charter.

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