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Oberstown Newsletter May 29, 2018
President Higgins visits Oberstown
President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina Higgins visited the Campus on Friday May 25 to present Gaisce awards to four young people. The event was a fantastic occasion involving young people and the staff who guide them through their time in Oberstown. The President gave a passionate speech, and he and his wife spent time speaking to young people and celebrating their achievements with them. Young people presented the visitors with portraits (see image above of Chair of the Board, Professor Ursula Kilkelly, and Deputy Director of Oberstown, Damien Hernon, with the President, his wife and the portraits), and had their Gaisce certificates signed by the President. The success of the day was the result of team work across the Campus and beyond, and everyone played their part. Chair of the Board of Management Ursula Kilkelly expressed her gratitude to all, saying it was a "fabulous occasion which presented Oberstown at its very best." 

Case Management Update 

The next significant phase of the Oberstown Case Management System will deploy in mid-September 2018. This phase will mainly address the CEHOP / Placement Planning areas and will include a Calendar for booking / tracking / YP and Unit activities. In order to be ready for the deployment in September, there are many tasks to be planned and completed in the meantime. Our deployment preparation starts on June 12th with a half-day planning meeting, the goal of which is to create a detailed plan for each of the following five areas that make the Oberstown CMS Deployment Plan:

  1. Operational Support Plan – we want to ensure that the developed system is properly integrated with Justice IT and fully supported
  2. Plan to Retire the Y Drive -  ultimately the new system will replace the Y drive but this must be achieved carefully and in a planned way
  3. System Deployment Plan – this part of the plan will include training approach, training materials, and communication plan
  4. Operational Readiness Plan – operational readiness is a decision and happens about 2 weeks before we deploy, it is our checklist to ensure that we are ready to ‘go live’
  5. Go Live Plan – this covers the week of deployment itself

Section three above (System Deployment Plan) will be a key part of what is covered on June 12th and will focus on communication and training for the system. We will define the training approach, and materials as well as a communication plan to keep all staff informed on our progress toward the September deployment date. (Update provided by Tom Gannon, IT Project Lead)

Booklet for young people published
A youth-friendly information booklet for young people produced by Oberstown has been warmly welcomed by the Oberstown Board of Management, staff on the ground –and indeed young people themselves. With young people’s views sprinkled throughout, the booklet gives an overview of daily life on the Campus, and outlines young people’s rights and the way in which they will be cared for.

The booklet was produced with the assistance of EPIC,  who consulted with young people for the publication. EPIC consulted with 14 young people over two weeks, and found participants to be highly engaged and passionate on the subject matter. EPIC Advocacy Officer Edel Weldon (pictured above far right with Pat Bergin, director, and Lena Timoney, deputy director and her EPIC colleague Fiona Murray) said it was great to see the voices of the young people throughout the booklet,adding that the publication was very true to what young people had said during consultation. “Right up front young people can see the care and safety element – these are the things they told us was most important to know upon arrival in Oberstown. Young people don’t know what to expect when they come here,” she continued. “So to be reassured that they will be kept safe, will get meals and can contact family is very important.”

EPIC extended thanks to everyone in Oberstown – from managers to care staff, to catering, to the school, for making the consultation process so smooth and accessible. “Staff were very supportive of the process and encouraged young people to take part. We saw overwhelmingly positive relationships between staff and young people. Young people really know that staff are there to care for them, and have best interests at heart,” advocacy officer Fiona Murray said.

Director of Oberstown Pat Bergin said the booklet would provide a level of comfort to young people arriving on Campus as it helps to break down some of the misconceptions about coming to Oberstown.

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