Senator Frances Black launches ‘An Evaluation of Tabor Group’ Report

Evaluation of Tabor Group

Press Release 13th December 2018          

Senator Frances Black today launched “An Evaluation of Tabor Group” report at Trinity College Dublin.

About the Report

Tabor Group is a major provider of residential and community-based addiction treatments in Ireland. The group is comprised of Tabor Lodge (Primary Treatment Centre), Tabor – Fellowship House (Secondary Treatment Centre for males) and Tabor – Renewal (Secondary Treatment Centre for females).

Tabor Group, in partnership with the HSE, commissioned an external evaluation by Trinity College Dublin to assess the effects of Tabor Group’s treatment programmes and also to offer independent examination of the efficacy of the programmes, as well as the ‘goodness of fit’ of the treatment model.

It’s the first evaluation of the Minnesota Model (Tabor Groups Treatment Model) ever completed in Ireland. The Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin, conducted interviews, focus groups, and online anonymous submissions with a wide range of Tabor Group staff, clients and family members as well as other external stakeholders for this report.

This report identified that clients were distinctively different in age, gender, demographics and clinical presentation across the three centres. It also highlighted Alcohol as the highest recorded substance of choice across the centres. Ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine were ranked highest reported drug of choice for clients of Tabor – Fellowship House and Tabor – Renewal. Gambling went up exponentially from 2% in 2013 to 22% in 2017 while Food as a drug of choice was reported by Renewal for almost one-third of clients.

Overall, respondents spoke of both positive and negative experiences of Tabor Group and their treatment. There were mixed feelings expressed about the model of treatment used by Tabor Group (Minnesota Model). Concerns were raised around the length of the 28 -day primary treatment programme, several believed this was not long enough. Clients also expressed a preference for a seamless transition from primary to secondary treatment within the Tabor Group which is not always the case. There were issues around the “Hot Seat” confrontational approach used at times in treatment also, however, clients also had many positives to say about Tabor Group. They appreciated the positive attitude of staff, the small groups that were used in treatment and the treatment model framing addiction as a disease. They viewed the financial support, such as HSE grants, as a real plus as well as the aftercare service that Tabor Group offer. Family members also placed great value on the aftercare services offered and support in general they received from Tabor Group and considered the services to be comprehensive. Importantly, family members felt that the programme was really supportive regardless of the benefit to the ‘immediate client’. It was recommended by family members to extend family care and support to minors, for the sons and daughters of clients.

Overall the staff of Tabor Group valued the support that they received from management and believe that Tabor Group Services have a very good reputation. They do feel at times that administration can be burdensome and an intrusion on clinical time, but overall had high levels of job satisfaction and believed the low levels of turnover tell a lot about Tabor Group.

This report concludes with recommendations for Tabor Group, splitting into three categories: Strategic management and governance, staffing and programme issues.


Speaking on the report Mick Devine Clinical Director Tabor Group said: “We are pleased with the report and its findings. The Board of Directors of Tabor Group have adopted all of the recommendations, we are currently working on an implementation programme. We appreciate the contributions of our colleagues in the field of alcohol and drug services here in Cork and the Southern Region as well as clients, their families, staff and all stakeholders.  Our hope now is that this report makes a contribution to the National development of drug and alcohol treatment services for the benefit of addicted people and their family.”

Dr Jo-Hanna Ivers of Trinity College Dublin said Tabor Group are to be commended for opening their service to external scrutiny and evaluation. This evaluation is a very important part of Ireland’s response to addiction, promoting and enabling recovery. The report adds to the much-needed body of evidence for addiction services in Ireland”. 

Mick Devine of Tabor Group, commended the participants the who took part in the research praising their honesty and commitment to Tabor Group. He also acknowledged the professionalism and openness of Professor Joe Barry and Dr Jo-Hanna Ivers to the process of evaluation.

About Tabor Group

Tabor Group is a leading provider of residential addiction treatment services in Ireland. Offering hope, healing and recovery to addicted people and their families through an integrated and caring service. We provide support and care to hundreds of clients each year suffering from addictions to alcohol, substances, gambling and food.

Tabor Group is comprised of three residential addiction treatment centres: Tabor Lodge, Tabor – Renewal and Tabor – Fellowship House.  Tabor Lodge first opened in 1989 and began providing treatment for people suffering with alcohol misuse.  Since then, the services have grown to three centres providing support and care to people suffering with addictions to alcohol, substances, gambling and food. For more information on Tabor Group’s services click here.

Facilities include: – Tabor Lodge, Tabor Renewal & Tabor Fellowship House

Tabor Group