Notable achievements of young people at Oberstown 

by Rachel Cunningham
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 Oberstown Children Detention Campus freshely published annual report showcases the year’s achievements, events, and developments. It highlights significant developments across campus and celebrates the notable achievements of the young people at Oberstown throughout 2023. 

Top of the list has been the continued growth of Oberstown skills training programmes, including initiatives focused on providing young people with practical skills to increase their prospects of employment in the future. 

Proof of this is the fact that 30 young people achieved a certificate in Fitness Instruction, 20 young people completed a course in manual handling, 12 qualified for a Safe Pass certificate and 24 received training as Baristas.

In all, there were 16 different programmes delivered across 2023 covering a wide range of topics including offending behaviour, relationships, life skills, and relapse prevention among others.

Other milestone in the year showed:

  • A total of 20 Gaisce awards were achieved by young people during the year and 4 work placements were secured over 2023.
  • 2023 was the first full year for the implementation of the Oberstown Strategy 2022 – 2026. Across the year the Director, senior management team and staff worked to progress the priorities in the plan with a number of goals undertaken and completed.
  • Visits from international organisations, including the Netherlands Helsinki Committee/Youth Perspectives (YOPE), along with the MOSAIC Penal Reform International project which monitors the safety of children in detention across the EU. These visits validated the view that Oberstown’s rights-based participative approach compares favourably to international best practice. 

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman said: “Across 2023 young people were supported to develop through quality care focused on their development, wellbeing, and potential. The staff and management work hard to ensure this is done through a holistic, collaborative and rights-based approach. I thank the Board for their continued commitment throughout 2023.”

Damien Hernon, Oberstown Director, said: “The staff and management continue to work to ensure young people are not only supported when here but also encouraged and developed to live fulfilled lives when they leave campus. I would like to express a sincere thanks to the Board and staff at Oberstown for their dedication and hard work throughout the year.”

Koulla Yiasouma, Chair of Oberstown Board of Management, said: “The 2023 annual report illustrates the breadth of work undertaken with and by young people at Oberstown with the aim of supporting them to reach their potential and prevent further offending.” 

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