Wellsprings Residential Service
Sr. Joan O’Leary worked in the female surgical ward of the Mercy Hospital, during her time there she became aware of young women who would be admitted mostly during the weekend with injuries from alcohol abuse, assaults and from self harm.
Joan spoke to the leadership of the Mercy Sisters at the time and in conjunction with the former Southern Health Board, Wellsprings opened its doors on the 20th September 1995
In Wellsprings, we provide a range of support services to assist young people to gain and maintain a reasonable level and quality of independence in the community, incorporating residential and outreach services. The young women Wellsprings supports present with multiple and complex needs. We are an inclusive service and a significant percentage of our young people have special needs such as Mild Intellectual Disability and Autism. We aim to bridge the gap between the time when a young person leaves care, and the time when they are able to cope with independent living. We work in collaboration with a wide range of statutory, voluntary, community and disability services in order to meet the diverse needs of service users. Wellsprings is an integral part of the family support services offered by the Child and Family Agency TUSLA. Wellsprings is a registered Children’s Residential Centre. Under the Child Care Act, 1991, every Children’s Residential Centre is inspected. We are open 365 days a year and offer a 24 hour on call service for those in need of out of hours support.
The residential service has a capacity for up to 8 young people, however due to the complex nature of the young people’s needs and a small staff complement we usually have 5/6 young people living here at any one time.
Main Reception Hall
We have a team of professionally trained Social Care workers. The young people are supported through their placements by an identified keyworker as well as the staff team. Wellsprings is a holistic service and is person-centred in that we work with each young person as they are when they come to us and we see the opportunity to travel with them on a hopeful journey to a better life.
Young person doing artwork
The outreach service continues to develop and grow to meet the needs of the young people moving on from the residential service. The needs of the young people are such that there is an intensive level of support needed in the initial stages of the move- on process and the aim is to work towards the young person having suitable accommodation and to manage their daily lives with support from the outreach service. As we work with a diverse group of young people, the level of supports vary from one young person to the other. However, we are becoming increasingly conscious that the young people being referred to Wellsprings need a considerable amount of support on an ongoing basis even when living in the community.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find young people accommodation to move onto from the residential service. Some young people move onto other supportive services such as Sophia and Focus Ireland but the availability of places within these services is limited. The private rented market is expensive and more often than not out of reach of our young people.
Our outreach service runs from Bethany, our outreach building supporting approximately 50 young people annually. It is open from Monday to Friday 10 – 5 pm and there is 24/7/365 crisis support available through Wellsprings for all the young people we support.
Bethany Outreach Service
In Wellsprings, we aim to facilitate order and positively influence emergent behaviours through our therapeutic interventions. We use our Sensory Relaxation Room and Programme in our Outreach centre. The use of a multi-sensory environment include sensory-based treatment models such as mindfulness and wellness programmes. The objective being to provide opportunities for supporting self-regulation, learning, and social interactions, thus improving outcomes for our young people and their families.
In practice this benefits the young women by offering them structured time out from daily life by;
- Providing a relaxing calming space in the Outreach building to go to when they are feeling overwhelmed or worried
- Developing and learning mindfulness and wellness skills for life in a safe familiar environment
- Developing their capacity to regulate their emotions in difficult or stressful times in their lives
- Offering individual and Groups on Mindfulness and Wellness
Sensory Relaxation Room in Bethany
Wellsprings Services are grateful for the support of our funders so that we can continue to provide an essential frontline service to vulnerable young women in the community. We thank the Sisters of Mercy for their continued dedication and unwavering support of the work we continue to do through Wellsprings services. Wellsprings Board of Directors continue to work together to support and drive the mission and values of Wellsprings while living out of the ethos of the Sisters of Mercy.
Wellsprings Residential Service