History and Time-line of Raheen FRC and now rebranded ARC Family Resource Centre
A social audit carried out in 1997, identified a lack of childcare services in Raheen and the surrounding area, this created barriers to families trying to access education, training or employment.
Funding was secured and a childcare facility was set up in a back room of the community centre in Raheen. It had approximately 15 children, run by volunteers and a play group leader on a very small budget. The centre grew and developed and a need for a purpose built childcare facility was identified.
In 2000 the company was set up as a not for profit organisation. The then Management Committee of Raheen Community Development Group Ltd. applied for and secured capital funding under the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme (EOCP). Construction started and the building was opened in Oct 2004. Meanwhile in 2001 the company applied to become a Family Resource Centre (FRC) under the FRC Programme, and was successful in its application.
“The aim of the FRC programme is to combat disadvantage and improve the functioning of the family unit. Each FRC operates autonomously working inclusively with individuals, families, communities, and both statutory and non-statutory agencies. FRCs are an integral part of the Child and Family Agency’s Local Area Pathways model and act as a first step to community participation and social inclusion. The programme emphasises involving local communities in tackling the problems they face, and creating successful partnerships between voluntary and statutory agencies at community level.” (TUSLA)
Over the years the FRC has developed and grown extensively whereby it has two very busy childcare centres, a day centre for the elderly, extensive youth activities, a catering kitchen, a computer training centre, many health initiatives (promoting both physical and positive mental health), training and education programmes (in Raheen and satellite programmes in Clonroche and Adamstown), a drop in centre, free counselling service, meals on wheels, secretarial service, information and referral service.
We then rebranded the Raheen FRC renaming it ARC Family Resource Centre so as to allow communities to take ownership of their family support programmes while being supported by the ARC offices centred in Raheen.