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Case Studies

Here are samples of people we have helped in the community.

Find out more about us through their own stories - and how life has improved for them since engaging with our services.

Sarah's Story

Case Management

Sarah presented to DCD&AT in late 2013. She is in her early thirties and living in a city council flat with her husband and child. She is friendly.

Drug Use

Sarah is on 75mls of methadone and attends a HSE methadone clinic. She uses heroin, prescription tablets, cannabis and alcohol.


Sarah has been diagnosed with a mental illness and receives injections twice weekly at a psychiatric day service. Sarah is linked-in with a mental health nurse.

Life History

Sarah has been married for 10 years and has one child. A social worker is linked-in with the family due to child protection issues. Sarah expresses feeling very unhappy in her marriage and reasons her drug use on this. She states her husband regularly abuses her, both physically and verbally.

Sarah has experienced significant tragedy in her life. In recent years Sarah has lost both a sibling and a parent from drug overdoses. Sarah had close relationships with both family members, and has no contact with her remaining parent or siblings.

Legal Issues

Sarah has a probation officer due to theft offences.

Presenting Issues
  • Problematic drug abuse

  • Mental health issues

  • Accommodation issues–wants to live in supported housing


The DCD&AT provides the following interventions:

  • Building a trusting and therapeutic relationship.

  • Working with Sarah to develop her individual care plan.

  • Offering support to Sarah and advocacy on her behalf.

  • Assigned Keyworker to:

    • Attend regular case conference meetings.

    • Ensure the client received her travel pass.

    • Contact and meet Sarah’s Social Worker and Mental Health Nurse to advocate on her behalf.

  • Linking in with housing services and workers to meet Sarah’s housing needs.

The staff of DCD&AT will continue to build a trusting relationship with Sarah, and will continue to advocate on her behalf in a supportive manner. The Service will progress her individual care plan while providing a safe, confidential and nurturing environment, and assisting her in reducing harm in her life.

Please note the picture is a stock image.


Joe's Story

Client Profile

Joe is in his late twenties, unemployed with no dependents.

Life History

Joe has a history of developmental trauma, poor attachment and prolonged periods of physical abuse and emotional neglect. He has a criminal history that started in his late teens. Joe’s history of family physical violence began from the age of 2 years old and continued to early adulthood. Joe is socially isolated with no support network or family involvement. Joe has experienced two significant deaths.

Drug Use

Currently, Joe is a poly-drug user (cocaine and hash), with above average levels of alcohol consumption. Joe is dependent on prescribed anti-depressants to stabilise his mood. During periods of alcohol consumption, Joe expresses heightened violent reactions to others and self (deliberate self-harm).

Legal Issues

Joe is currently on a 12-month probation order for previous offences.

Presenting Issues
  • Low self-esteem

  • Two previous suicide attempts

  • Depression first diagnosed in early adolescence and psychiatrically treated.

  • Inclusive trauma history review

  • Stabilisation through establishing a safe environment and developing his support network.

  • Multimodal approach using a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Person-Centred Therapy, and Sensory-Motor Psychotherapy.

  • Explore cognitive capabilities and thinking patterns.

  • Body orientation psychotherapy.

  • Titration: Supporting initial exploration and acceptance of bodily sensations.

  • Provide a corrective experience by supplanting the passive responses of collapse and helplessness with active, empowered defensive responses.

  • Actively separate associated conditions of fear and helplessness from biological immobility responses.

  • Resolve hyper-arousal states by releasing toxic energy and restoring equilibrium.

  • Talk therapy and psycho-education especially around trauma and attachment.

  • Referral to Men Overcoming Violent Emotions (MOVE).

  • Liaison between the DCD&AT and the Probation service.

Please note the picture is a stock image.


Case Study A

40-year-old woman living locally with her 5-year-old son: Is on methadone programme but relapsed on crack in July. Presented to us in late July, suicidal.

Our keyworker immediately linked in with Tusla and a programme of care was put in place

The Keyworker held a number of sessions with her, and arranged for more childcare through family. She also signed her up for counselling sessions. She is also linked in to the meal services. Having provided an understanding, empathetic ear; a viable care plan was initiated. By September she had stopped using altogether and is looking to cut down on her methadone dosage.

Recently Case A, reported that a family member has come to stay with her in her flat without her consent. He is an extremely violent individual and she reports to keyworker that she is a victim of his violent attacks.

Keyworker links in family services and social work team and was instrumental in arranging a refuge for the client, the keyworker also visited the client in the refuge and completed a needs assessment for the next six months.

Eventually, after prolonged intricate work, we managed to get her into a family refuge.
The Gardai get involved in the case. Charges are pending.

Case A is currently doing well in a women’s hostel. She has maintained custody of her son. And through our work with DCC we anticipate to have her transferred to a new flat by the New Year.

To date the keyworker has provided 37 one-to-one sessions; 29 professional phone calls to other agencies (both statutory and voluntary involved in the case) and 80 follow-up calls/interventions with the client focusing on emerging needs, support and stabilisation.

Please note the picture is a stock image.

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Case Study B

Young woman who has relapsed on alcohol and has had her son taking into protective care with a foster parent who has previously cared for the girl.

The Keyworker led a number of Case Conferences to try and help this family to reunite and lessen any problems that have emerged.

Our Keyworker has worked with the woman to help her abstain from drinking, and  ensuring that she got into a residential treatment centre down the country.

While this woman does not have the custody of the child back yet, we are working with her towards this and advocating on her behalf with the relevant services.

Our Keyworker continues to meet with her weekly and help her with her alcohol problem. She has linked her into a counselling service. She is now abstinent from alcohol for
3 months and we continue to advocate for her in the family courts. Our Keyworker is confident for a reunification soon.

To date, the Keyworker has provided 23 one to one sessions; 29 professional phone calls to other agencies (both statutory and voluntary involved in the case) and 65 follow-up calls/interventions with the client focusing on emerging needs, support and stabilisation. Attended two Case Conferences.

Please note the picture is a stock image.

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Case Study C

Two brothers who live in flat locally. Both are recovering heroin users and are currently on a methadone programme.

Recently, the brothers have fallen out and have begun physically fighting each other. They are both using alcohol and allow their flat to be used, from time to time, to other people who are also drinkers and may be homeless.

Neighbours say they are concerned by levels of violence that happens there occasionally.

One of the brothers has linked in with our keyworker, asking for our assistance in allocating a new flat, as he fears if they continue living together there could be serious violent consequences. There are also concerns regarding Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) and the potential the brothers might be evicted. To safeguard from this, the keyworker has been liaising with DCC on behalf of the brothers.

Both brothers together are in line to be moved into the newly built units in the complex.

Our keyworker has had to meet with them individually to ascertain if this was the wish for both parties. Once it was established that both parties wanted to move separately, we made representations on their behalf to Dublin City Council to see if it was possible for them to each get alternative accommodation.

DCC have agreed to this request, and are seeking a one-bedroom flat for each of them in
the area. We have linked one of the brothers into our counselling service while the other says he will take up the Art Therapy when it resumes in January.


To date the keyworker has had upwards of 60 phone calls with the brothers; provided 12 outreach (in-person) calls and 20 professional calls with relevant agencies/services.

Please note the picture is a stock image.

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Case Study D

A local woman in her mid-thirties approached us because she has become addicted
to Valium.

The woman lives locally with her 3 young children. Although she has been a poly-drug user for some time, it was when her ex-partner was released from prison that her Benzo intake increased to problematic levels. All her tablets were obtained locally from street dealers. Our Keyworker has worked with her initially through supportive, empathetic one-to ones.

We are now working with her on a community detox in conjunction with a doctor in the Meath Primary Health Centre.

She is currently on 10mg of prescribed Valium which will decrease as the detox goes on.

We have also linked her into the counselling service, Hot meal provision as well as the food hamper provision.

She intends to take up the Art Therapy in the new year.

We are currently working with DCC for an accommodation transfer out of the area.

To date, the keyworker has provided 23 one-to-one sessions; 19 professional phone calls to other agencies (both statutory and voluntary involved in the case) and 58. To date,
the keyworker has provided 37 one-to-one sessions; 29 professional phone calls to
other agencies (both statutory and voluntary involved in the case) and 80 follow-up calls/interventions with the client focusing on emerging needs, support and stabilisation.

Please note the picture is a stock image.

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