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DkIT Receive Prestigious Performance Funding Award for Domestic Abuse Programme

01 September 2022

Dundalk Institute of Technology were absolutely thrilled to be the recipients of a prestigious performance funding award announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, T.D. The performance funding awards totalling €5 million has been allocated to six higher education institutions in recognition of their positive performance in working towards national strategic objectives. Each award is valued at €833,333.

Welcoming the awards, Minister Harris said:

It is vital that we recognise outstanding performance in higher education, and I would like to congratulate the successful institutions on their exceptional case study submissions. Together, these institutions are making a significant and lasting impact in Irish society, tackling key national issues such as domestic and gender-based abuse, the development of our natural energy resources, and opening new pathways into higher education for professional learners and under-represented groups.”

DkIT received the award for their co-creation and delivery of Ireland’s first accredited programme for frontline staff on how to recognise and respond to domestic abuse. Through the work of Louth Children’s and Young Persons Services Committee, it emerged that although the area of domestic abuse was covered in third level undergraduate programmes, there was a lack of accredited training programmes for those working in the sector. In response to this community need DkIT developed the 13-week Level 8 programme ‘Certificate in the Fundamentals of Understanding and Responding to Domestic Abuse’ (FURDA) as an inter-agency collaboration with key individuals from a range of stakeholder groups. These groups include Women’s Aid Dundalk, Drogheda Women’s and Children’s Refuge Centre, the Probation Service, the Departments of Social Work/Midwifery, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, and An Garda Síochána.

Dr Edel Healy, Head of School of Health & Science said

We are absolutely thrilled to receive this award and recognition from the Higher Education Authority. The award is a testament to all of those who collaborated and created this course. This initiative was designed for the community by the community and is a multiagency approach to a very important issue as highlighted in the recently published Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual & Gender-Based Violence 2022-2026.

Launched in 2016, the FURDA programme has been completed by almost 150 students from a diverse range of frontline services in almost all counties in Ireland. The programme is delivered almost fully online, meaning it has a national and, potentially, an international reach. 

Below is a selection of graduate testimonials highlighting the positive education impact of the programme among students from diverse backgrounds:

 Member of An Garda Síochána’s National Domestic Abuse Unit said

The course is professional in its operation and engagement with students to ensure that everyone got the maximum learnings from the course. I will continue to recommend all practitioners and colleagues to complete this course”.

Midwife, Health Service Executive quoted

“This programme has really changed my perception of Domestic Abuse. It is only after completing the programme that I now understand that there are a multiplicity of complex reasons why a victim stays in an abusive relationship. The programme has provided me with many insights which I can now use in my role as a midwife to better support victims of Domestic Abuse”.

Front line worker, Women’s Refuge

“I would say that taking part in the Domestic Abuse programme at DkIT enabled me to view our clients and the work that we do with them, from a much wider perspective. The theories and academic content IACS Guidelines and Template January 2022 12 introduced was hugely enlightening, with lots of "aha" moments. But I also learned so much from sharing the experiences and different viewpoints of my classmates”.

The recipients of this year’s performance funding awards were Dundalk Institute of Technology, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, National University of Ireland, Galway, South-East Technological University, University College Dublin, and University of Limerick. 

The funding awards can be used to expand and progress existing initiatives or put towards new initiatives that contribute towards national strategic imperatives. Oversight of the funding awarded will be managed by the HEA.

You can find out more about the course, and upcoming sessions, at the course page:

Certificate in Fundamentals of Understanding and Responding to Domestic Abuse

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