Significant need for help for families of children with ABI, says report

Brain Injury Matters report highlights the ‘significant' need for family-focused brain injury rehabilitation in Northern Ireland.

The charity, Brain Injury Matters, said it has received almost double the number of referrals it expected after launching a project in 2015 designed to assist families. An initial evaluation report shows 57 families were referred to the Family First Project. An article in The Irish News explains how the Family First Project was established to help "ensure that no child or family who has been affected by acquired brain injury is left behind". According to the charity the number of referrals to the project in three years "shows the critical importance of having a dedicated service for children and their families in place, helping to bridge the gap that exists in statutory services". The statistics also reveal 42 per cent were self-referrals, which according to the charity highlights a "significant gap in community services for children with acquired brain injury" in the north. Clinical psychology lecturer Dr Chris McCusker, report author, said in The Irish Times: "The Family First Project, which Brain Injury Matters has developed along with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and through funding from Big Lottery NI, has reached families in need from across Northern Ireland and provided family focused interventions which are not currently available in statutory services. "Bolstering family resilience has resulted in improvements in understanding, coping, family relationships, well-being and quality of life for families, siblings and, most importantly, the child now making their way in the world with an acquired brain injury." Bridget Smyth from the Family First Project said: "Without early intervention and rehabilitation, children with an acquired brain injury are at an increased risk of further issues in later life."
Share page
Print page
Follow us