Governance refers to how an organisation is run, directed and controlled. Good governance means an organisation will design and put in place policies and procedures that will make sure the organisation runs effectively. ADHD Ireland is committed to designing and implementing these policies.
‘The Governance Code’ is a code of practice for good governance of community, voluntary and charitable organisations in Ireland developed by Boardmatch Ireland, Business in the Community Ireland, Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups, Clann Credo – the social investment fund, The Disability Federation of Ireland, ICTR, Volunteer Ireland and The Wheel. ADHD Ireland is committed to adopting and complying with the Governance Code.
Governance update by the ADHD Board and Team | March 2022
Following from our strategy day, ADHD Ireland has decided to change its mission from one of ‘awareness’ to one of ‘acceptance’. Language is important, and awareness and acceptance come from vastly different mindsets.
Awareness focuses on highlighting how different ADHD is from the neuro-norm. It educates on clusters of ‘deficits’, and suggests that anything objectionable about an individual is their ADHD. Awareness (often unintentionally) reinforces stigma. The dominant narrative can be the child with ‘problem behaviour’ in the classroom, the parents struggling each night to get their child to do their homework, the adult with another failed career or relationship, and that the ADHD is to blame.
Awareness is easy. It’s an unrepeatable thing (you’re either aware or you are not), and doesn’t require a whole lot of thinking. It’s rooted in ableism, and fails to hold society to account for exacerbating challenges and for failing to embrace true inclusion. Awareness of diagnostic criteria and prevalence rates has done little to support ADHD in education and employment, and does little to actually improve the lives of the ADHD community more generally.
We need actual steps that can and should be taken to improve the lives of those members of the ADHD community. Acceptance is about acknowledging and valuing difference in our society rather than about tolerance. It is about shifting the onus of change from the ADHD individual to society as a whole. Acceptance requires an active effort to challenge perceptions, to overcome prejudice, and to change. It is a constant process. The challenge is in acceptance, and this is where ADHD Ireland has been focusing our efforts and will continue to do so going forward.
ADHD Ireland is the national advocacy charity for ADHD and while awareness was a start it is not enough. It is only with acceptance that we can say we fulfil our mission to make life better for the ADHD community. The goal of this language shift is to refocus our efforts to driving change and improving the supports we provide to the ADHD community.
Dr. Sonia Morris, Ph.D., D.Clin.Psych
Chartered Clinical Psychologist
Director of ADHD Ireland
ADHD Ireland is governed by a Board of Management, made up of:
Hilary Burke is the current Chairperson of ADHD Ireland and has worked with the organisation for over 4 years. As part of her work with ADHD Ireland, she has completed the Facilitators Training in the Parents Plus Children Programme and on Children First & YAP Ireland Child Protection Awareness Training.
Dr. Kate Carr Fanning is an Assistant Professor of Childhood, Youth, and Education Studies in Coventry University, UK. Kate is a psychologist specialising in education. She completed her Ph.D. in Trinity College Dublin focused on the inclusion of learners with ADHD in mainstream schools in Ireland. Kate is a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and an active experienced researcher – at national and international levels. Her research interests and expertise focus on ADHD, with particular expertise in creative methods and communication techniques for working with children with ADHD, children and student voice, and designing and testing school-based interventions for ADHD (including a focus on developing inclusive practice, socio-emotional development, and a strengths-based approach). Kate is passionate about participatory research and practice, and strongly believes in working ‘with’ stakeholders (e.g. parents, teachers and children) to support children with ADHD. Kate has over ten years of experience working with ADHD and SEN charities in Ireland, across Europe, and in the USA. In the past, Kate has delivered our parenting course and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) groups. At present, she is also on the professional advisory board of ADHD Europe and ADDISS, UK. She is involved in a range of national and international patient advocacy organisations, at several levels including research, practical service provision, advocacy, publications and lobbying.
Dr. Sonia Morris is a psychologist with an interest in developmental disorders. She completed a PhD in autism in Trinity College Dublin, and worked in the Institute of Education in DCU researching inclusion, adapting curricula for special educational needs, and evaluating lessons for citizenship education. Sonia is currently back in education, completing a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She continues to research ways of reducing the stigma associated with additional needs in Irish schools. Sonia delivers the Solution Focused Group Therapy groups for ADHD Ireland.
Stephanie Mahony is one of the founding members of ADHD Ireland, which has been a support organisation for 40 years (originally as HADD). Stephanie has an adult son who received a diagnosis of ADHD when he was 3 years of age. Stephanie has worked tirelessly for ADHD Ireland throughout its lifetime.
Jimmy Doyle is a member of the management boards of two national charities in Ireland, namely Brain Tumour Ireland and ADHD Ireland both of which he serves in financial management and governance capacity. He is a director of ADHD Ireland and was a founder member of Brain Tumour Ireland. In his professional life Jimmy was a treasury specialist with more than 30 years experience in the corporate and banking treasury sectors.
Catherine Kelly is a senior human resources professional with over 30 years’ experience across a number of sectors. Over the last 20 years, Catherine has spent her time working within the energy sector. Catherine is a graduate of University College Dublin, holding a Bachelor of Social Science Degree and a Masters in Business Studies from the Michael Smurfit School of Business. Catherine is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and is a qualified Executive Coach. Catherine completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Governance in 2021.
ADHD Ireland is fully committed to achieving the standards contained within the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising.
The statement was developed by the Irish Charities and Tax Research group and exists to provide charities in Ireland with a Fundraising Code of Practice.
The purpose of the statement is to:
- Improve fundraising practice;
- Promote high levels of accountability and transparency by organisations fundraising from the public;
- Provide clarity and assurances to donors and prospective donors about the organisations they support.
For more information please see the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising