Introduction

Local Drug Task Forces were established in 1997 as part of the recommendations of the First Report of the Ministerial Task Force on Measures to Reduce the Demand for Drugs (Oct 1996). The report recommended the creation of eleven Local Drugs Task Forces to integrate policy and practice in those areas identified as having a high prevalence of problem drug use.

Since 1997 Task Forces have sought to address “the need for improved coordination in service provision and to utilize the knowledge and experience of local communities in designing and delivering those services”. (RHSR, 2017-2025) Task Forces have also “supported the development and expansion of integrated and accessible community-based services. This has resulted in greater access at local level to harm reduction initiatives, such as methadone and needle exchange and other wrap-around service and supports, such as advice and information, family support, childcare, and holistic therapies” (RHSR, 2017 -2025).

Some of the important community-based services that have been developed over the years with the support of Finglas Cabra LDATF include:

• Sankalpa (formerly Millennium Carving) – Drug Rehabilitation Programme (mainstreamed)
• Cabra Resource Centre (Now Local Outreach Family Therapies (LOFT) (mainstreamed)
• Finglas Addiction Support Team
• The Voyages Programme (Finglas Centre Centre)
• Aftercare Support in Finglas and Cabra
• Cabra Community Policing Forum
• Finglas Community Safety Forum
• Finglas Cabra Health Promotion
• Prevention Through Resilience Programme
• Community Response small grant scheme
• Colaiste Eoin Equine Project
• Family Therapy Project
• Better Finglas

Community

In the context of the work of the Task Force, the community is all who live and work in the area and have a shared interest in reducing the harm that can be caused by the use of drugs. This includes those affected by drugs and those who are not, those who work for statutory and voluntary agencies, and those elected to our democratic institutions to represent the interests of all the people.

Drugs

The Task Force defines drugs as all legal and illegal mood-altering substances including alcohol.

Partnership

By working together we can develop more effective responses to the challenges involved in addressing the multi-dimensional nature of drug issues.

Vision, Missions, Values

Vision

The vision of Finglas / Cabra Local Drug Task Force:
Our vision is of a community where all are working together with belief and confidence to resolve drug issues in a positive manner.

Mission

The mission of Finglas / Cabra Local Drug Task Force:
To build and maintain an inclusive Task Force that leads a coordinated local drug strategy in the Finglas and Cabra areas.

Statement of values

The values that underpin the work of the Task Force include: accountability; flexibility; respect; equality; inclusiveness; empowerment. The Task Force also values person-centred approaches to the provision of drug-related services. How we define these values is important:

  • Accountability

    we seek to be accountable in our work and to engender a sense of shared responsibility in responding to drug related issues.

  • Flexibility

    we are open to challenging existing organisational and professional boundaries and traditional ways of working, in order to achieve our aims.

  • Respect

    it is essential that all who participate in the work of the Task Force respect the integrity of the LDTF process and the work involved, and are honest and open in their work with each other, service users and the wider community.

  • Equality

    the application of the principles of equality relating to gender; marital status; family status; age; disability; race; ethnicity; sexual orientation; religious belief and membership of the Traveller community, to the work of the Task Force.

  • Inclusiveness

    we value the role that all concerned can play in identifying and creating solutions to the drug issues affecting the community.

  • Empowerment

    we seek to empower those affected by drugs issues to participate in all levels of our work.

  • Person-centred services

    we value drug-related services that use a person-centred approach and that demonstrate an ethos of empathy and respect for the individual in a non-judgmental manner.

Strategic Priorities

Strategic Priority 1.

Strategic Priority 1:

Continue to advocate for resources to sustain efficient local drug and alcohol-related services and programmes for individuals and families.

Strategic Actions

      1. Continue to maintain a profile of existing local services and interventions aimed at the causes and consequences of drug misuse.
      1. Identify and document sustainability needs of effective local services.
      1. Identify and document unmet needs.
      1. Bring documented service development needs and unmet emerging needs to the attention of policy makers and funders.

Strategic Priority 2.

Strategic Priority 2:

Work with partners to improve existing and develop additional evidence-informed alcohol and drug-related services and programmes for young people.

Strategic Actions:

        1. Consult with existing stakeholders to establish the nature and level of need.
        1. Establish a working group to identify models of intervention.
        1. Seek resources to implement modes of intervention.

Strategic Priority 3.

Strategic Priority 3:

The Task Force will seek to foster closer working between local mental health and addiction services.

Strategic Actions:

                1. Document existing case management arrangements.
                1. Facilitate networking between the management of mental health and addiction services covering the Task Force area.

Strategic Priority 4.

Strategic Priority 4:

Support the establishment of service user involvement structures that will channel the perspective of service users into local service and policy development

Strategic actions:

            1. Seek funding for a development worker.
            1. Support the development of community leadership among local service users.
            1. Support the development of an independent service user Forum in the Task Force area.

Strategic Priority 5.

Strategic Priority 5:

The Task Force will continue to support interagency working that develops and implements local crime prevention initiatives aimed at drug-related crime, drug-related intimidation, and anti-social behaviour.

Strategic actions:

            1. Continue to support the crime prevention activity of Finglas Safety Forum.
            1. Continue to support the crime prevention activity of Cabra Community Policing Forum.
            1. Continue to support crime prevention community awareness activity aimed at drug-related crime, intimidation and anti-social behaviour.

The role of our Task Force

Our Task Force is a local inter-agency delivery system for evidence informed drug and alcohol programmes. We do this by working with all stakeholders and allies to build resilience to the effects of problem drug use at individual, family and community level. This was recently recognised by Government in the National Drug Strategy – “DATFs have played a key role in harnessing the efforts of community groups, families and local residents and have built partnerships with statutory services and local representatives” (Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery 2017 – 2025, Page 63).

Community resilience has been described as ‘the capacity of communities to respond positively to crises …. to adapt to pressures and transform’ (Glasgow Centre for Population Health, 2014b, p.27). In resilient communities, people feel supported, empowered and enabled to work together to take more control of their own lives and provide their own solutions to the issues they face (Public Health England, 2016).

Building community resilience involves the development of the social capital of communities (Wilding, 2011). The social capital generated by Task Forces creates “links to people or groups further up or lower down the social ladder, e.g. to those in authority” (Aldrich and Kyota, 2017; OECD, 2007). This allows a two-way flow of information between the ‘grassroots’ or ‘periphery’ to the ‘top’ or ‘centre’ where decision-making, resource allocation and strategic planning is located. This strategic plan aims to build community resilience within communities in Finglas and Cabra so that they can overcome the difficulties generated by problem drug use.