13,000 benefit from 10 years of prevention and early intervention in Tallaght West

September 12, 2017: 13,000 children, parents and staff across Tallaght West have benefitted from a €22m investment in prevention and early intervention in the community over 10 years.

Celebrating its 10 Year Anniversary at Tallaght’s Civic Theatre today, the Tallaght West based Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) thanked families and the community for their commitment to better outcomes for children – and called on Government to support continued prevention and early intervention for a further 10 years.

CDI CEO Marian Quinn said Tallaght West was a stronger community today as a result of a comprehensive programme of prevention measures and early interventions, which were co-funded by Government and the Atlantic Philanthropies, between 2007 and 2016.

The programmes which were delivered included parental supports; children’s literacy and numeracy; children’s speech and language; training adults and young people in using restorative practices in schools and the community and strengthening community safety.

From 2007 to 2016 the outputs delivered in Tallaght West included:

  • 8,200 parents and adults, 3,800 children and 840 staff engaged with and supported
  • €21.7m invested in the community
  • Parental support to 4,500 families
  • Speech and Language Therapy to 820 children
  • Literacy and numeracy support to 1,440 children
  • Restorative practices training to 2,000 adults and 190 young people.

CDI also published 13 Research Evaluation reports, 14 Policy Briefs, three Implementation Guides and three Community Reports along with many other evidence based outputs.

CDI CEO Marian Quinn said during the 10 years CDI together with many local providers have engaged with a very significant portion of the children and families in Tallaght West delivering benefits right across the community.

The work remains ongoing after a series of funding extensions and is resourced up to the middle of 2018 – and CDI today called for a longer tern view and commitment from Government.

The outcomes of the work were today commended by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone who was instrumental in the original establishment of the Initiative.

“I am delighted to celebrate ten years of CDIs work in Tallaght West. This marks a very significant investment by Government and philanthropy, and a continued commitment to prevention and early intervention. CDI, along with the other two areas who were funded under the Prevention and Early Intervention Programme, have taken great strides to help us all understand better how to improve outcomes for children and families.”

“I am really delighted with all that CDI has achieved in Tallaght West over 10 Years. It has been, and remains, a model of best practice. It is very important that CDI continues to deliver services locally and can also share what it has learnt with other communities.”

A special guest at today’s 10 Year Anniversary event was RTE Broadcaster and Tallaght native John Murray who said: “I am delighted to recognise the important work happening here in Tallaght and in other communities aimed at improving outcomes for children. It is very clear that what’s happening here has been a real team effort with the involvement of a wide range of organisations, statutory agencies and very importantly people living in the community. I am delighted to have the opportunity to publicly thank them all for their hard work, their focus and their commitment to improving the future for our children.”

Looking to the future, Ms Quinn said CDI is determined to continue to deliver proven interventions in Tallaght West and is also looking to develop a greater role in sharing what it has learnt with other communities.

CDI highlighted that programmes which have proven particularly effective should be supported for delivery in other communities to bring the proven benefits to more children. CDI in particular called for:

  • The Chit Chat model of Speech and Language Therapy to be adopted and replace the current HSE SLT service model (as the evaluation found the CDI model to be more effective) and this be made available in all DEIS schools
  • Doodle Den to be rolled out on a phased basis to all DEIS schools
  • Parenting support, using CDI’s Parent Carer Facilitator model, to be resourced in other communities of need
  • A national agency for Restorative Practices (RP) be established and make RP training available for communities nationwide – as well as for health, social care and education professionals.

Some of the major findings from the evaluations of CDI’s programmes to date have included:

Chit Chat Speech and Language Therapy

  • 18% of children were discharged from the service as being upskilled to within normal limits in comparison to 11% of children in the HSE service
  • Up to 60% of the children had not previously been referred to an SLT service
  • Significantly improved parental participation and reduced waiting times in comparison to the HSE service.

Doodle Den

  • Seven percentile point gain in children’s literacy ability
  • Teacher’s reported a seven percentile point decrease in negative behaviours
  • Parents reported an increase in child’s reading at home (10 percentile points)
  • The programme was also found to improve school attendance, family library use, family reading and children’s social skills.

Early Years Programme

  • The Parent Carer Facilitator role was found to reduce parental stress, improve relationships between parents and their children and support a positive home learning environment
  • The more sessions of a parenting course that parents attended the more beneficial the home learning environment was.

Restorative Practice evaluation

  • A 43% reduction in work place conflicts was found in organisations that adopted a Restorative Practices approach
  • 87% of those who took RP training reported being more confident in dealing with conflict
  • Significant improvement in relationships between organisations and their service users.

You can view photos from the event at the Civic Theatre here and to view CDI, Ten Years On:  Milestones, Memories and Momentum click here.

Further Information
Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.