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Coolmine has sixty adults and eleven babies living with us in our residential facilities – thirty four men in Coolmine Lodge and twenty six women and eleven babies in Ashleigh House. An additional fifty adults attend our outpatient programmes daily in Dublin city.
We offer the only mother and child residential service in Ireland, catering for women with children and pregnant women who are seeking help with addiction. 62% of Coolmine clients are from counties outside Dublin. In addition to our residential services, we provide a wide range of services along a continuum of care, including day programmes, nursing services, counselling, career
guidance, job and training opportunities, housing and family support.
Responding to clients’ presenting needs are at the core of our work. We work with people who are vulnerable, marginalised and often from dysfunctional backgrounds with complex medical and psychiatric needs. We see a prevalence of second and sometimes third generation families with addiction problems. Our work, especially in Ashleigh House, provides us with the opportunity to break that generational cycle of addiction, through working with mothers and their children.
However, every day, an additional 30 women from all over Ireland seek entry to our services, 80% of whom are mothers. Coolmine cannot meet that demand. We strongly urge Government to meet that demand as per its own stated policy of July 2017 which outlined the need to “increase the number of rehabilitation beds and expand addiction services for pregnant and postnatal women” through a “whole-of-government response”. Coolmine calls on Government to follow through on this commitment and deliver resources for further high-risk family treatment centres.


Coolmine has an established research culture. In line with national policy ‘to develop sound and comprehensive evidence informed policies and actions’, Coolmine is committed to providing evidence of the impact of our services and interventions. Our 2016 TCD/
Coolmine longitudinal outcome research shows that treatment and rehabilitation works for the individual, for the family, the community and for Ireland. 72% of Coolmine clients remain illicit drug-free two years after treatment.
In 2017 we engaged research expertise to deliver further research projects. We shall publish research on women’s experiences in the residential drug treatment setting and also commence a study to examine the role of housing and homelessness in treatment pathways during 2018. During 2017 we commenced with a Parents under Pressure (PuP) programme evaluation with Trinity College Dublin and Griffith University, Australia, the results of which will be published in Autumn 2018.


Our focus is constantly on quality services to ensure best possible outcomes for clients. Critical to best outcomes is continuous staff training and development programmes. Our quality standards were audited by the Royal College of Psychiatry (UK) in 2017. CCQI accreditation was renewed for meeting the highest quality TC service standards in both Ashleigh House and Coolmine Lodge. We are the only service of our kind in Ireland to achieve this accreditation. Effective governance is essential in order to achieve Coolmine’s vision that everyone should have the opportunity to overcome addiction and lead a fulfilled and productive life. This is the second year of our ambitious Strategic Plan 2016-2018 Overcoming Addiction; Supporting Recovery. An update on implementation of the Plan is presented for approval at every Board meeting. In October 2017 a Board Away Day took place to consider strategic plan implementation, assess response to service demand and assess Board and sub committees’ effectiveness. Of particular note was the Audit and Risk Committee’s work during the year which led to the appointment of an independent risk expert to the committee, the outsourcing of our Internal Audit function and the employment of double night cover in Coolmine Lodge following risk assessment. The Audit and Risk committee comprehensively reviewed Coolmine’s system and processes of Clinical Governance. A Clinical Governance framework was agreed which defined the Clinical Governance functions of the board and the executive.


In 2018, Board members, management, staff, clients and key stakeholders collaborated to develop our Strategic Plan 2019-2022.
Governance Board members are appointed on the basis of skills, knowledge and experience. Risk and corporate and clinical governance is reviewed by our Audit and Risk Committee and overseen by Directors at every Board meeting. Progress on the implementation of the Strategic Plan is monitored at every Board meeting. An evaluation of the effectiveness of our Board and its Sub Committees’ was initiated in 2018 and will be reviewed at a Board away day in 2019.
A comprehensive staff training and development programme is scheduled throughout the year, including mentoring and leadership programmes for management. We comply with the triple lock of good governance recommended by the Charities Institute of Ireland and the Charity Regulator. We comply with the Code of Practice for Good Governance for the Voluntary and Charity sector in Ireland, the Statement of Recommended Practice for Accounting and Reporting by Charities (SORP) and Fundraising Principles.


Currently, we have sixty adults and up to seventeen babies living in our residential facilities in Coolmine. Every day an additional fifty adults come to our day services in Dublin city. We also work with over 120 people daily in our targeted outreach and community services. 697 drug-related deaths in Ireland per annum demands that Government urgently prioritise treatment and rehabilitation, as
committed to in the National Drugs Strategy 2017-2025, “to increase the number of rehabilitation beds and expand addiction services for pregnant and postnatal women” through a “whole-of-government response”. Coolmine provides the only mother and child residential rehabilitation service in Ireland. This caters for women with children and pregnant women who are seeking help with
addiction. We know that the most significant barrier for mothers to access treatment is the fear that they will be separated from
their children. Such barriers keep women and children in high-risk situations for longer.

We know that the treatment and rehabilitation services provided by Coolmine deliver tangible outcomes that are evidenced. Coolmine proposes to respond to the demand for its services by developing a 20 unit high risk family’s service in the mid-west region replicating
Coolmine Ashleigh House services. We call on Government and the Department of Health, Housing and Children to immediately
act to support Coolmine plans to deliver a second residential treatment centre outside Dublin for women with children and pregnant women who are seeking help with addiction. I would like to thank those who support Coolmine, our funders, donors and strategic
partners. On behalf of the Board, I also extend our thanks to our team in Coolmine. Our staff members are trained to the highest standards and carry out their work with dedication, respect and the capabilities to provide the highest possible quality standards.
Our thanks also to our Chief Executive who continues to be a strong and dynamic leader. Members of the Board of Coolmine
contribute their time and expertise on a voluntary basis and I thank each one for their guidance to me and their strong commitment to achieving Coolmine’s objectives.

Coolmine Annual Report 2017


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