The Area Based Childhood Programme is a cross-departmental initiative announced in the Programme for Government. The Centre for Effective Services (CES) has been asked by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) and Atlantic Philanthropies (AP) to support and oversee the design, planning, evaluation and implementation of this programme. The ABC Programme is co-funded by the Irish Government and the Atlantic Philanthropies, with a total investment of almost €30 million between 2013 and 2016.
What is the aim of the ABC Programme?
The ABC programme targets investment in evidence-informed interventions to improve the long-term outcomes for children and families living in areas of disadvantage. It aims to break “the cycle of child poverty within areas where it is most deeply entrenched and where children are most disadvantaged, through integrated and effective services and interventions” in the following areas: child development, child well-being, parenting and educational disadvantage.
In line with the Government’s commitment to draw on best international practice and existing services to tackle aspects of child poverty, the ABC programme will focus on the implementation of interventions and approaches that have been found to significantly improve child outcomes in an Irish setting. The interventions and approaches within Areas should also be integrated with mainstream services such as health, education and the new Child and Family Agency.
Learning from the Prevention and Early Intervention Programme (PEIP)
The ABC Programme builds on the learning from the previous Prevention and Early Intervention Programme (PEIP) 2006-2013, which was co-funded by DCYA and the Atlantic Philanthropies and delivered across three areas in Dublin: Ballymun (youngballymun), Dublin Northside (Preparing for Life) and Tallaght West (Childhood Development Initiative). The PEIP involved the evaluation of a diverse range of prevention and early intervention approaches and learning to date has demonstrated significant improved outcomes in a number of domains, in the areas of child behaviour, parenting, child health and development and learning.
Areas in the ABC Programme
Under the ABC Programme, investment will be extended from the three existing PEIP Areas to a further ten Areas. Resources are being provided to a consortium in each Area, which is offering a range of services to be delivered in their Area, and is led by a lead organisation. The 13 Areas selected through a competitive process to enter the design stage of the ABC Programme are listed below.
Northside Partnership, Preparing for Life
Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative Ltd. (CDI)
Clondalkin Behavioural Initiative Ltd. t/a Archways
Louth Leader Partnership
Barnardos Republic of Ireland Ltd.
Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)
Northside Community Health Initiative (Cork) Ltd. (NICHE)
Early Learning Initiative, National College of Ireland (NCI)
Bray Area Partnership (BAP)
People Action Against Unemployment Ltd. (PAUL Partnership)
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