5 Principles

Below are five simple, powerful principles that you and your Party can adopt to ensure that Prevention and Early Intervention is a core commitment in your election manifesto and is included as a priority in your new Programme for Government.

Download our 5 Thriving Childhood Principles brochure here

References & Sources for 5 Principles brochure

5 CAMPAIGN ASKS

As well as our campaign document, "5 Thriving Childhood Principles", we have 5 practical, concrete Campaign Asks of the next government. These asks are more specific than the 5 Principles and attempt to translate them into core, doable actions for the next government.

Read our 1 page of 5 Campaign Asks

Publicly commit to prevention and early intervention as the one thing that you can do to make the greatest difference for children and young people.

We know that the culture of late intervention is not just expensive. We know it doesn’t work.

You can make voters aware, through your decisions, of the enormous benefits of prevention and early intervention. Adopt a policy which uses tested programmes that are proven to build thriving, happy childhoods, inspire confident parents and strengthen communities.


Children were the group most affected by the recession in Ireland. Now is the time to change that and make investment in our children’s future the building block of Ireland’s recovery. How?

  • Audit the current spend on universal services, early intervention, and late intervention.
  • Incrementally re-align resources from crisis intervention towards prevention and early intervention.
  • Allocate a defined level of funding from ALL department budgets to prevention and early intervention. Ring-fence it so that it can be effective and guaranteed.

Children were the group most affected by the recession in Ireland (Unicef 2014). Now is the time to change that and make investment in our children’s future the building block of Irel and’s recovery. Let’s look at some of the facts today.* Keeping a child in detention school costs €314,000 a year.

Keeping a child in residential care can cost more than €150,000 a year. Overweight and obesity issues cost Ireland €1.3 billion a year. Poor mental health costs us €3 billion a year. Prevention and early intervention costs a fraction of this. In fact, it saves money and, most importantly, it secures futures.


Issues such as poverty, early school leaving, poor health and behaviour problems need a whole of Government approach.

Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures is the overarching national policy framework for children and young people aged 0 to 24 years. Its implementation is the responsibility of all government departments and key state agencies.

How?

  • Co-ordinate local planning for Prevention and Early Intervention programmes with appropriately resourced Children’s and Young People’s Services Committees and other statutory, voluntary and community-based organisations. Also support the Tusla Mainstreaming Programme for Prevention, Partnership and Family Support.
  • Realise the following commitments to Prevention and Early Intervention contained within Better Outcomes, BrighterFutures:

> Lift 70,000 children out of consistent poverty.

> Increase access to high quality, affordable early years education.

> Re-balance resources to place a greater emphasis on prevention and early intervention.

> Ensure universal and targeted parent supports.

> Implement the Area Based Childhood Programme.

> Up-skill professionals to identify risk and provide preventative and early intervention support.

Issues such as poverty, early school leaving, poor health and behaviour problems need a whole of Government approach. To address these issues holistically, and decisively, there has to be joined-up thinking and smart resourcing.


Children live in families, who live in communities. You can choose to make them your priority and ensure your legacy. How?

  • Review the effectiveness of existing child and family services, clarify their role/purpose and incrementally introduce an outcomes assessment for all services.
  • Capitalise on the Irish evidence that already exists which shows that Prevention and Early Intervention works. This research should inform all local and community programmes aimed at children and families.
  • Continue to invest in proven models of Prevention and Early Intervention. Ensure existing effective programmes are continued and expanded into and beyond 2016.

Investment in children needs to be outcomes driven and informed by evidence of what works – it makes no sense to continue to invest in services that are not effective.

In Ireland we have research that proves that prevention and early intervention improves the lives of children. Use it, learn from it, build on it.


Ensure that the best interests of children are central to all government and service decisions.

The recession is NOT an excuse for 12% of children living in consistent poverty.

How?

Some countries in recession actually reduced child poverty rates (Unicef 2014) because they made brave choices to put the wellbeing of the most vulnerable
in society at the heart of political and economic decisions.

Children live in families, who live in communities. You can choose to make them your priority and ensure your legacy.