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On the right track: learning from prevention and early intervention in Ireland

Background

Over a twelve year period (2004-2016), services for children and young people in Ireland experienced a significant investment from The Atlantic Philanthropies and government. Investment in 52 different programmes and services aimed to improve children's lives in a number of areas: child behaviour, learning, attitudes to inclusion and diversity, child health and parenting.

CES was initially set up to meet a growing appetite for data and services, and our first task was to summarise findings of independent evaluations of the programmes, to inform policy and services.

This was a complex task, involving almost ten years of summarising and synthesising the evaluations as the reports were published, and identifying key messages that were useful for both policy and practice. In 2014 CES launched Ten Years of Learning - Prevention and Early Intervention Approaches in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Our Role

From 2016-2018 we published a final series of reports and summaries called On the Right Track. While some of the programmes were international evidence based programmes, others were adapted to meet the needs of local communities. Some common messages emerge which are relevant to commissioning services, but also for implementing services and engaging with children, young people and their parents. Learning from providers gives insights into the structures, capacity and time needed to implement new initiatives, and will be of interest to providers of a range of services.

Reports generated by CES during this time have been widely cited by academics and professionals and have informed subsequent philanthropic investments in Ireland and Northern Ireland, along with recent policy initiatives and programmes. Reports informed Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures (The Policy Framework for Children and Young People in Ireland) and the Early Intervention Transformation Programme (EITP) in Northern Ireland. CES is also using learning from this investment to support implementation of the HSE Nurture Programme, and the Reaching Out, Supporting Families Programme in Northern Ireland.

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