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Family consultations

Gendercare aims to demystify the pathway options for families, providing consultations for parents, siblings, and other family members as well as the trans person. Signposting to the relevant supports and services in a stepwise fashion by developing a goal setting plan to empower people on their journey. Vanessa has previous experience working in Social Prescribing, which contributes vital insights in providing pathway navigation supports. 


Family relationships

Gender-transition can be fraught with uncertainty and lead to conflict and fragmentation of family relationships. Gendercare have a wealth of experience working with trans people and their families, primarily to listen and gain an understanding of where the person (and family) are at concerning gender-identity or transition.

Some of the services offered are:

  • Draw up an individual goal-setting plan for each individual family and ‘hand-hold’ them as they navigate their next steps.

  • Signpost to key services, both national and international and can help breakdown the often-cumbersome pathway of medical transition, whilst continuously supporting the family during this sensitive period in their lives.

Dr Vanessa Lacey is one of a handful of researchers in the world, who has published in the area of family acceptance, and has done extensive work focusing on the theory of ambiguous loss in the context of gender transition.

Family at Pumpkin Patch

Resilience Workshops

GENDERCARE provides resilience workshops for trans people and their family members. We have in-depth knowledge and experience designing and facilitating workshops for trans people of all ages and stages, as well as family members.

We offer a range of workshops, from full-day to weekend residential, where the participant will have the opportunity to speak about their experiences in a safe environment, whilst developing vital coping skills to become more self-assured and an understanding that finding new meaning to situations outside of our control can enable us to feel more secure in our environment.  

Dr Vanessa Lacey founded and developed TransParenCI, which is the national family support group in relation to trans people in Ireland over 10 years ago. 

Stethoscope on the Cardiogram

Healthcare signposting

Gender-transitioning is not a 'one-size-fits-all',  it needs to be individual to the specific needs of each person. Gendercare can help to identify the individual needs of the person, which is crucial for many.  

For some that will mean signposting to local, regional or national/international services, always prioritising your individual needs.

In fact, not all people will need medical or surgical interventions at all to be able to live or express their authentic gender identity, some may need a change of thinking about what that means for them.

However, for those that feel medical and surgical services are needed, we have links with many national and international services and can make referrals into these services.

Educational support

Primary School

Over the last decade there has been an increase of gender non-conformity and gender-variance in primary schools in Ireland. Often, primary school staff do not have the capacity or knowledge to address the issue, however, a child who is experiencing gender conflict may need their experience to be validated.

In our experience working with primary schools, there is a need to engage a ‘wrap-around’ to help both child and parent, as well as school staff and other parents of children in the school. Gendercare provides training and consultation with the school and the family. 

Current research suggests that most children who express gender non-conformity or gender variance desist into adolescent years. Therefore, gender non-conformity and gender-variance is not a direct indicator that the child will gender transition into adolescent years. Gendercare can act to support all parties and signpost onto relevant services, supports and potential workshops that may help both the child and family.

School Days

A young-person in a secondary school environment identifying as trans or experiencing gender conflict may need urgent attention.

Research indicates that gender dysphoria in adolescents can be debilitating and cause chronic anxiety. Physical pubertal changes during adolescents can cause anxiety for young people who are not transgender, but physical changes in the opposite direction to the young persons gender identity can be difficult for them to understand.

Gendercare provide a similar ‘wrap-around’ holistic approach that places the young person front and centre and facilitates the discussion to see the best outcome for the student whilst also finding the best workable solutions for the school, at the same time supporting the family during what can be a challenging period for them.

Our ultimate objective when working with schools is quality of life and wellbeing, and allowing the young person to remain in school to attain their best results and future outcomes. Engaging with CAMHS can also be crucial to help them have a better understanding and knowledge of trans issues and services.

High School Friends

secondary school


Third level institutions

Coming-out as trans or planning to gender transition in 3rd level institutions can be unbearable for some, the added pressure of academia on top of socially gender transitioning can be overwhelming. Although,many 3rd level institutions have developed gender-identity policies, there are still many gaps to improving services for trans students and can lead to them deferring college.

Gendercare provide various supports for the student, in terms of resilience workshops, links and signposting to relevant and safe supports, whilst also providing training and support to the 3rd level institution.

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