Local Drug Task Forces were established in 1997 as part of the recommendations of the First Report of the Ministerial Task Force on Measures to Reduce the Demand for Drugs (Oct 1996). The report recommended the creation of eleven Local Drugs Task Forces to integrate policy and practice in those areas identified as having a high prevalence of problem drug use.
Since 1997 Task Forces have sought to address “the need for improved coordination in service provision and to utilize the knowledge and experience of local communities in designing and delivering those services”. (RHSR, 2017-2025) Task Forces have also “supported the development and expansion of integrated and accessible community-based services. This has resulted in greater access at local level to harm reduction initiatives, such as methadone and needle exchange and other wrap-around service and supports, such as advice and information, family support, childcare, and holistic therapies” (RHSR, 2017 -2025).
Some of the important community-based services that have been developed over the years with the support of Finglas Cabra LDATF include:
Cabra Community Policing Forum
Family Therapy Project
Aftercare Support in Finglas and Cabra
The Voyages Programme (Finglas Centre Centre)
Community Response small grant scheme
Finglas Addiction Support Team
Prevention Through Resilience Programme
Cabra Resource Centre (Now Local Outreach Family Therapies (LOFT) (mainstreamed)
Finglas Cabra Health Promotion
Finglas Community Safety Forum
Sankalpa (formerly Millennium Carving) – Drug Rehabilitation Programme (mainstreamed)
Strategic Priority 1:
Continue to advocate for resources to sustain efficient local drug and alcohol-related services and programmes for individuals and families.
- Continue to maintain a profile of existing local services and interventions aimed at the causes and consequences of drug misuse.
- Identify and document sustainability needs of effective local services.
- Identify and document unmet needs.
- Bring documented service development needs and unmet emerging needs to the attention of policy makers and funders.
Strategic Priority 2:
Work with partners to improve existing and develop additional evidence-informed alcohol and drug-related services and programmes for young people.
- Consult with existing stakeholders to establish the nature and level of need.
- Establish a working group to identify models of intervention.
- Seek resources to implement modes of intervention.
Strategic Priority 3:
The Task Force will seek to foster closer working between local mental health and addiction services.
- Document existing case management arrangements.
- Facilitate networking between the management of mental health and addiction services covering the Task Force area.
Strategic Priority 4:
Support the establishment of service user involvement structures that will channel the perspective of service users into local service and policy development
- Seek funding for a development worker.
- Support the development of community leadership among local service users.
- Support the development of an independent service user Forum in the Task Force area.
Strategic Priority 5:
The Task Force will continue to support interagency working that develops and implements local crime prevention initiatives aimed at drug-related crime, drug-related intimidation, and anti-social behaviour.
- Continue to support the crime prevention activity of Finglas Safety Forum.
- Continue to support the crime prevention activity of Cabra Community Policing Forum.
- Continue to support crime prevention community awareness activity aimed at drug-related crime, intimidation and anti-social behaviour.
The Role of Our Task Force
Our Task Force is a local inter-agency delivery system for evidence informed drug and alcohol programmes. We do this by working with all stakeholders and allies to build resilience to the effects of problem drug use at individual, family and community level. This was recently recognised by Government in the National Drug Strategy – “DATFs have played a key role in harnessing the efforts of community groups, families and local residents and have built partnerships with statutory services and local representatives” (Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery 2017 – 2025, Page 63).
Community resilience has been described as ‘the capacity of communities to respond positively to crises …. to adapt to pressures and transform’ (Glasgow Centre for Population Health, 2014b, p.27). In resilient communities, people feel supported, empowered and enabled to work together to take more control of their own lives and provide their own solutions to the issues they face (Public Health England, 2016).
Building community resilience involves the development of the social capital of communities (Wilding, 2011). The social capital generated by Task Forces creates “links to people or groups further up or lower down the social ladder, e.g. to those in authority” (Aldrich and Kyota, 2017; OECD, 2007). This allows a two-way flow of information between the ‘grassroots’ or ‘periphery’ to the ‘top’ or ‘centre’ where decision-making, resource allocation and strategic planning is located. This strategic plan aims to build community resilience within communities in Finglas and Cabra so that they can overcome the difficulties generated by problem drug use.