Strategic Plan for Teach Tearmainn

In September 2019, 2into3 began a process of strategic planning with Teach Tearmainn, a Domestic Abuse service and refuge. Teach Tearmainn is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to serving women, with or without children, who are in or have experienced situations of domestic abuse. The organisation had experienced significant growth in recent years and sought a strategy in order to continue growing in a way that was sustainable and mission-centred. Teach Tearmainn and 2into3 embarked on Teach Tearmainn’s very first strategic plan covering the years 2020-2024.

Established in 1999, Teach Tearmainn is the only specialised dedicated service working to address the issue of domestic violence and abuse in County Kildare, building a significant body of experience and expertise surrounding these issues over the years

Teach Tearmainn logo 2into3

The Context

Domestic abuse occurs across social classes, ethnic groups and age demographics. In Ireland, 79% of women experiencing domestic abuse do not report it, while only 8-12% of women who need domestic abuse support service access them. In 2014, Safe Ireland reported that every day 14 requests for accommodation could not be met in Ireland. That same year Teach Tearmainn opened a refuge in Co. Kildare which provides emergency accommodation units for women and their children seeking to escape situations of domestic violence or abuse. Due to funding constraints, however, Teach Tearmainn operated the refuge on an office-hours basis, with only on-call support overnight. Due to health and safety concerns, this model was not sustainable. To meet the demand for its services, Teach Tearmainn would need to seek funding to move to a 24-hour refuge model. At the same time, the organisation identified the need to relieve pressure on its refuge facilities, which were at the time overused and serving multiple purposes: additional space would need to be found.

Another key issue identified by Teach Tearmainn was an absence of a Court Accompaniment service for victims of domestic abuse attending court proceedings, as well as an acute shortage of residential units for women and their children seeking non-emergency, longer-term accommodation after leaving an abusive situation.

Overall, with ever-increasing demands on its limited resources, Teach Tearmainn needed a step change in its approach to funding and the organisation’s structure, in order to enable an expansion of services as well as a move to a 24-hour refuge model.

Teach Tearmainn image
Teach Tearmainn Centre Strategic Plan 2into3

New Vision

A world where women and children have the right to be and feel safe and happy.’

New Mission

‘To meet the needs of women and children experiencing Domestic Violence and Abuse, by providing inclusive, supportive, and confidential services that empower women and children to live life without fear.’

The Action

Using a highly participative model of workshops and steering group meetings, 2into3 undertook the following process with Teach Tearmainn:

Mission, Vision and Values: The organisation identified a new mission, vision and values. This exercise allowed Teach Tearmainn to reaffirm and renew its purpose, while in turn clarifying a direction for the organisation to take. Teach Tearmainn’s mission, vision and values now serve to guide the organisation, underpinning its decision making.

Organisation Diagnostic & Goals: Teach Tearmainn and 2into3 next conducted an organisational diagnostic, which provided insight into the capacity of the staff, funding model and service-user experience, using SWOT analysis and reviewing existing feedback. The subsequent discussion prompted the evaluation and identification of 10, ambitious but achievable, goals, which fell under the following 3 Strategic Objectives:

  • Expand Services
  • Diversify Funding
  • Develop Organisational Capacity

Strategy and Operational Plan: A three-part strategy was developed to achieve the agreed upon goals, with each part  corresponding to a Strategic Objective. An operational plan was developed over an initial 12-month period assigning deadlines to each strategic action for accountability, and a five-year financial plan, with targets and projections, was finalised. .  A new management structure for the organisation was also developed. It was agreed that 2into3 would advise and support the implementation of this new management structure as well as offering support in the form of recruitment, including through 2into3’s For Purpose Graduate Programme, in order to allow Teach Tearmainn to train up employees with role-specific knowledge.

The Result

In the year since the completion of Teach Tearmainn’s Strategic Plan, the organisation has successfully completed a number of  their strategic goals. These include establishing an Outreach Service in a new office and a dedicated Court Accompaniment Service, as well as moving to a 24-hour refuge model. To source sustainable funding for the Court Accompaniment Service and to establish Transitional Housing units, which is an even larger undertaking, Teach Tearmainn and 2into3 are currently undertaking a feasibility study. Conducting service user and stakeholder consultations forms part of this  feasibility study, which will seek to demonstrate the need  and impact of each of these projects.

Not only have Teach Tearmainn significantly expanded their services as per the Strategic Plan, but they have successfully obtained increased State funding  as planned,  and at the same time are settling into a new, functional management structure.

Armed with their Strategic Plan, Teach Tearmainn were in a strong position when the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Teach Tearmainn saw an increase in referrals and demand for the service, as many domestic abuse victims found their situations exacerbated by lockdown conditions. The organisation continues to expand and deliver on their new mission moving into the future.

Teach Tearmainn image from site

Talk to us

If your organisation is in need of a strategic plan and wish to receive more information on how 2into3 can help, please Director of Advisory Services, Luna Atkins on +353 (21) 237 9838, or visit our Strategy & Impact here.