What is the Intensive Home Support Service?

Our Intensive Home Support Service is a home-based service, providing families with targeted support, including access to 24-hour phone support. The service focuses on strengthening family unity, sustaining young people at home and empowering the family to become autonomous with healthy positive relationships.

Staff provide intensive support, seven days a week, within a domestic setting, at times when families are in most need, for example if a parent is struggling with a night-time or morning routine for their children, or finding weekends a particular challenge.

Likewise, if a family is encountering difficulties in managing young people within the family unit due to

  • absconding
  • staying out late
  • getting into trouble with the Garda 
  • misbehaving at school or due to substance abuse

Staff can assist with finding strategies to handle the situation to achieve a constructive, positive outcome.

In 2021 funding enabled us to provide IHSS to 45 families, 1 in 10 of the families we supported.

How can the Intensive Home Support Service support families?

The programme works on a 12-month cycle, with one staff member assigned to work alongside the parents, while another works with the children.

The first three months is an assessment period, whereby all parties can build a relationship, get a sense of the issues within the family and develop core relationships based on trust and openness.

The following three-to-six months is an intensive period, whereby the staff can focus on areas identified with the families themselves, ensuring that the interventions are collectively agreed and reviewed.

The final three months then provide a step-down and service exit plan, which can include appraising the successes achieved by the family, but also identify strategies for any additional or unmet needs.

Saving the public purse

The benefits of the programme are not just in the positive outcomes for the families themselves, who are enabled to remain together. The saving to the public purse can also be considerable, given that it can cost around €250,000 a year to keep a young person in residential care, compared to the annual cost per whole family of around €125,000 under the IHSS programme.

IHSS stems from the creation of the Creative Community Alternative, a new fund from Tusla, the Child & Family Agency.

LOCATION: Dublin City North, Ballymun, Kildare, East Coast (Wicklow)

SUPPORTING: Young People & Families

HOW DO I ACCESS THIS SERVICE? Referrals to this service are made via Tusla’s social work department


IHSS Dublin North 
Unit 6 & 10
Ballyboggan Business Centre,
Balllyboggan Road,
Dublin 11
D11 ND77
Email:[email protected]

Tel: (0) 86 777 7400

IHSS Kildare
Dermot Berry
1st floor, Block 4, Monread Leisure and Commercial Centre,
Monread Avenue,
Naas, Co Kildare
Email: [email protected] 
Tel: 00 353 (0) 45 878720

IHSS East Coast (Wicklow)
1A Woodlands Office Park,
Southern Cross Road,
A98 F5W5
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +353 (0)86 386 0687