Committed to an evidence based approach to working with children in the care system, the Galtee Clinic is providing a safe and secure environment for children whose needs cannot be properly met through foster care.
State residential care in Ireland is provided to children whose needs cannot be properly met through foster care. In many cases these children require highly specialised and focused attention to address the effects of their difficult start to life. However, despite significant investment in this area children are not achieving the sorts of long term successes that they desperately deserve. One third of all children released from residential care become homeless within six months, and one in four will end up in prison within two years. With so little hope and poor emotional well-being these children are at risk of criminal behaviour, substance abuse, or worse.
When Toby started working as a Clinical Psychologist in the area of Residential Childcare with the HSE he saw first-hand just how desperate the situation had become and began to wonder whether or not things could be done differently to help these children achieve better results. Combining his professional knowledge with Natasha’s extensive business background the Galtee Clinic began with the purchase of a smallholding farm as a base to establish their newly developed programme. The solution they developed was based on a European model of care called ‘social pedagogy’. This model incorporates key principles around education and care, empowering the children involved to take more responsibility for their own lives.
Committed to an evidence based approach to working with children in care, The Galtee Clinic has established a highly qualified and multidisciplinary team working to create a safe and secure setting for the four children participating in their innovative and effective programme. To date, the initial results for the children at Galtee Clinic have been hugely encouraging and with an emerging national reputation for quality care, the Galtee Clinic is receiving referrals from across the country. It is Toby and Natasha’s hope that the Galtee Clinic can act as a model to show the potential of this approach to work for many more in the care system, potentially improving the lives of thousands of Ireland’s most vulnerable children.