Relationships in Practice supports quality relationships in frontline practice through training, advocacy, collaboration and evaluation.


Relationships in Practice is a programme to support frontline practitioners’ relational and reflective capabilities because evidence shows this leads to better health and wellbeing outcomes.

This programme is a collaboration between The Social and Health Education Project (SHEP) and the Ag Eisteacht Foundation, two organisations with a shared commitment to increasing knowledge and understanding of the importance of quality relationships in practice.

"ABLE training is like rewiring how to interact with people. Relationships, not commodities, are at the heart of our work, so soft skills like listening underpin everything we do." Ciara

What we do

There are four strands to the Relationships in Practice programme: Training, Advocacy, Collaboration and Evaluation. We invite practitioners to join facilitated experiential spaces to think about their role in relationships at work, to consider new ideas and evidence on what works best and to get an opportunity to integrate this knowledge base in an applied context so that they can begin to think critically about the role of quality relationships in workspaces.

Collaborating with community and voluntary organisations and colleges provides opportunities to increase awareness in topics such as relationships in childhood and their connection with adult development, family development, and relationships at community and societal level

Working with knowledge and research about relationships is ever-changing so the Relationships in Practice programme evaluates its work, considers the impact of providing training in this area and continues to reflect on its contribution in a systematic way. This includes clearly articulating aims and outcomes associated with our work and monitoring and evaluating feedback in collaboration with our stakeholders. We take a flexible and responsive approach to implementing changes in response to that feedback and to the changing nature of evidence-based research associated with relationships.

The impact of quality relationships in practice

The importance of quality relationships in practice with children and families, adults and older people cannot be understated. Developing and maintaining good relationships is central to improving outcomes for individuals and families.

We have delivered our well-established ABLE model to hundreds of practitioners across many disciplines since 2017, and we know the impact this is having.

Add our awareness-raising events, collaborative initiatives, advocacy, resources and evaluative work, the wider impact of the Relationships in Practice programme on individuals, families and communities throughout Ireland is significant.

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