The SAOL Project
58 Amiens Street
The SAOL Project was established in October 1995 as a partnership between the local community and key agencies/organizations as an innovative approach community development approach to working with local women drug users. The project came about largely because:
The need was identified by grassroots organizations
A research project refined and clarified those needs
Managerial commitment and determination to address the needs of women drug users was assured.
MISSION STATEMENT AND OBJECTIVES
The SAOL project is a person-centred, community based programme for women in treatment for drug addiction. It aims to create positive meaningful change in the women’s lives through an integrated programme of education, rehabilitation, advocacy, childcare provision (with a focus on early childhood education), progression and aftercare supports. The project’s ethos is informed by respect for the dignity of each woman.
- to provide a range of educational programmes, including FETAC accredited modules, to enhance participants stability, self esteem, social and material prospects
- to enable women of the north inner city with drug misuse problems to access education and a range of other psycho/social supports to assist in their better integration into their communities and wider society.
- to develop gender specific educational inputs that empower participants to address the personal, social and economic inequalities which impact on their daily lives.
- to help reduce the risk behaviour associated with relapse to drug and alcohol instability; and assist in reducing the harm caused by drug misuse to individuals, families and communities.
- to encourage reducing dependency on drugs and alcohol and support improving overall health and social well-being, while promoting the aim of leading a drug-free lifestyle.
- to work towards meaningful and satisfying outcomes including personal, developmental, health and vocational gains.
- to positively impact on any offending behaviours of participants, reduce re-offending and assist in reintegration into the community for those who have been in prison.
- to develop participant centred, individualised Care Plans with set goals and targets.
- to provide structured one-to-one support and advocacy service with the aim of addressing personal, family and structural barriers to progression.
- to provide specific cocaine and crack cocaine interventions to assist participants, their families and the wider community to reduce and/or stop the use of these drugs.
- to develop strategic working relationships with relevant agencies on the participant’s behalf.
- to promote the meaningful inclusion of participants in developing social, health and economic policies in the community.
- to liaise with other agencies to facilitate progression routes for the participants.
- to support participants into decision making roles in their communities.
- to create and maintain realistic and valid measures for evaluating outcomes in keeping with the projects ethos.
- to actively engage in local and national fora to ensure the prioritisation of gender and equality issues which impact on women drug users.
- to develop responses to the increasing prevalence of cocaine and crack cocaine use in the North Inner City of Dublin
- to maintain regular periodic reviews of the programme.
- to provide early childhood education to the participants children.
- to use a proactive partnership approach in developing a relationship with the whole family.
- to centralise the child’s individuality, strengths, rights and needs in the provision of quality early childhood experiences.
- to promote and maintain the physical environment of the Children’s Centre in order to maximise the child’s learning and development
- to respect diversity, and ensure that all children and families have their individual, personal, cultural and linguistic identity validated.
- to promote equality and to respond to the individual needs and abilities of each child.
- to form responsive, sensitive, consistent and reciprocal relationships between childcare team and children.
- to adhere to all relevant Irish and International early years legislation and guidelines.
- to work towards achieving the NCNA All Ireland Centre of Excellence Award,
An education programme designed over a two year period and which operates through FAS Community Employment. The courses include:
- FETAC Level 3 Programme covering
- Community Development
- Child Development and Play
- Music Appreciation
- Personal Care and Effectiveness
- Introduction to computers
- Food and Cookery and Food and Nutrition
- Understanding Inter-culturalism
- Work Experience
Non accredited modules include:
- Meditation and Relaxation
- Personal Development
- Cultural Dublin
SAOL also provides a Children’s Centre, offering a daily crèche for children of our current and former clients as well as ongoing support and counselling for parents and children. During the summer holidays, SAOL operates its summer school for children aged between 4 and 12 years.
Reduce the Use work and ongoing addiction work is offered to any woman in the North Inner city – particularly those having difficulty with cocaine. Individual work as well as a weekly group are on offer – contact any staff member for more details.
The programme also includes the development of a Care Plan from a comprehensive needs assessment of each individual client. Goals and tasks are set from this Care Plan and a dedicated Advocacy Worker will assist clients in achieving their goals. Each client will also have a Case Manager who will work with them throughout the two years, taking responsibility for the lead role in case management where appropriate. Progression is measured on a regular basis and Care Plan Reviews are held periodically throughout the course of the programme.
We also provide a full time in-house Childrens Centre for our clients which focuses on early education interventions and developing relationships with parents based around childrens needs.
CRITERIA FOR ENTRY
The project operates a referral system. A referral form can be had by contacting us.
Criteria for referral are:
- You must be resident in (or have strong roots in) the North Inner City of Dublin
- You must be currently attending a drug treatment programme
- You must have demonstrated a desire to address your addiction and have made good attempts at stabilization
- Referrer must be willing to keep contact with the client and be available for a minimum of three inter-agency review meetings over the two-year course of the programme.