Sage is working to expand access to support and advocacy services in all care settings, in the community and wherever ageing poses a challenge for individuals.
Ireland is ageing and more people are living longer and better lives. However, a minority of older people - probably one in five of the 535,000 people aged 65 years and over require some form of support.
Most older people prefer to live, and to die, in their own home. However, many face challenges to their independence due to illness, disability, lack of family and community supports or an inability to access public services that meet their needs.
In circumstances where people have to depend on others there is a need to ensure that the rights, freedoms and dignitiy of older people are promoted and protected. Through support and advocacy the wishes and preferences of the older person can be heard and facilitated - independent of family, service provider or systems interests.
Sage are committed to addressing individual and systemic issues and to the development of Quality Standards for support and advocacy for older people through public consultation.
National Safeguarding Committee
The National Safeguarding Committee (NSC) is a multi-agency and inter-sectoral body with an independent chair. It was established by the HSE in December 2014 in recognition of the fact that safeguarding vulnerable people from abuse is a matter that cannot be addressed by any one agency working in isolation, but rather by a number of agencies and individuals working collaboratively with a common goal. The NSC brings together key players in public services, legal and financial services, the health and social care professions, regulatory authorities and NGOs representing older people, people with disabilities and carers. All have come together with one objective in mind – to ensure that adults who may be vulnerable are safeguarded.
The NSC will lead on encouraging an organisational and societal culture which promotes the rights of adults who may be vulnerable and it insists on zero tolerance for abuse. It will provide strategic guidance to the Government, the HSE, and other national stakeholders. Since establishment the NSC has developed a Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021 which was launched on December 20th 2016.
Sage are one of the agencies working collaboratively to represent older people, people with disabilities and carers.
Sage sees advocacy as the empowerment of people to ensure that they can articulate their needs and have their voices heard, either through themselves, or by someone else on their behalf. Support can involve building a relationship of trust and friendship. It can also involve organising services and Circles of Support.
The Sage Team are supported by two external Supervisors, Mary B. O'Shea and Margaret O'Reilly-Carroll
Mary B. O'Shea
Mary has extensive experience working in organisations in the statutory and voluntary sector. Her background is in social work, addiction, management and education.
She has held key positions in the Probation Service and Drug Treatment Services. She worked as Assistant Director in Merchants Quay Ireland for ten years and as a Director of Dublin AIDS Alliance for three and a half years.
More recently, she is working independently specialising in addication, family law, group and individual supervision, training and mediation. She also holds the position of Practice Tutor in University College Dublin for the Masters in Social Work (MSW).
She holds qualifications in social work, addiction studies, supervision, and has additional training in mediation. She is an accredited counsellor and supervisor with the ACI (Addiction Counsellors of Ireland) and on the panel of supervisors with the OASW (Irish Association of Social Workers). She is also registered with CORU (Regulating Health & Social Care Professionals) and is a certified member of MII (Mediation Institute of Ireland). Additionally Mary is a member of the panel of experts for the Irish Prison Inspectorate.
Margaret has extensive experience working in organisations in the statutory and voluntary sector. Her background is in nursing, health care, education and management.
She has lived and worked in a number of developing countries in Africa where she played key roles in social justice, supporting, training and supervising healthcare staff and volunteers. She has held key positions in clinical nurse management, nurse education, bereavement support and counselling and psychotherapy.
Margaret has worked as Head of Therapy in Spirasi for fourteen years. Part of this role included training and working with statutory and voluntary organisations in an advocacy and supportive role for ethnic minority groups living in Ireland.
More recently, Margaret is working independently as a counsellor, psychotherapist, trainer, individual and group supervisor in a variety of settings.
Margaret holds qualifications in nursing, psychotherapy, training and supervision. She is an accredited counsellor, psychotherapist and supervisor with the IACP (Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy). Additional qualifications include bereavement, trauma and stress management.
Both Mary and Margaret are currently working collaboratively supervising professional individuals and groups in a variety of settings. They both hold MA in Supervision from Dublin City University