Since 1992, we have worked with some of the most vulnerable members of Irish society, engaging particularly with those affected by polydrug use. While initially working with those dying from AIDS in the early 1990’s, we now provide support to up to four generations of any one family.
Everyone helping out to make home a little cosier.
With medical advances over the past few years, many people living with HIV have moved towards experiencing the virus as a chronic condition like diabetes and are hoping for normal life-expectancy. However, significant levels of HIV-related stigma remain and for those at the margins of society the legacies of the past continue to impact.
ACET is committed to working in these margins with our highly-relational model of care, seeking to bring about positive change by establishing relationships of mutuality, equality and trust. Our focus includes:
- Breaking the Cycle – Support and identify the specific needs of drug-using parents to play a role in breaking the cycle and safeguarding the next generation
- Support for Change – Supporting individuals and families to be aware of a range of accessible local options in terms of treatment, rehabilitation and parenting skills.
- Continuing to Care – Maintain a high-quality support service for individuals and families affected by HIV and polydrug use while reflecting at regular intervals on our relevance to our clients.
These priorities intentionally reflect Action 29 of the Education & Prevention Pillar of the National Drugs Strategy.
Baking projects with parents and children in the home.
We receive referrals through a wide range of agencies but particularly through the infectious diseases clinics of major hospitals in Dublin. While many of those we work with have been long-term clients, the economic downturn in Ireland has meant a re-emerging of drug issues for many people and so, while new HIV diagnoses among injecting drug users remain low, we continue to receive new referrals.
We also work with a small number of migrants who have come from countries of a generalised HIV epidemic. We are aware through our work with Project Hope and the referrals we have already received that there is a significant need to expand our work in this area. We are currently working in partnership with the Social Inclusion Unit of the HSE to make this a reality.
In addition we provide support to a small number of gay men whose mental health and other challenges mean that their marginalisation is particularly acute and so are in need of our support.
The care project is funded through the Dublin North Inner City Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, through the HSE. Many of the stories of our work in this area were gathered for our 20th anniversary and published in the book Drinking from the Same Cup.
Our work is carried out by two full time members of staff complimented by two part-time members of staff and a small team of trained volunteers.
All of our staff and volunteers are Garda Vetted and a copy of our rigorous Child Protection Policy is available on request.