Professor Layte's Presentation on the importance of Early Intervention Dublin June 2015

Professor Richard Layte presenting

The Hands Up For Children campaign were delighted to host a presentation from Professor Richard Layte on the importance of early intervention for the long term outcomes of individuals. The evidence he presented clearly illustrated that to ensure the future health and well being of individuals, it is essential we start from pre-natal onwards.

His presentation was engaging and thought provoking and we hope will further add to your commitment to the Hands Up For Children Campaign.

The full presentation can be viewed here and is well worth a watch.

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All Party Panel Discussion - Mansion House June 24th

Sandra McLelland TD, Senator Averil Power, Marian Quinn, Kitty Holland, Tobert Troy TD, and Shane Dunphy.

On June 24th, the Hands Up for Children campaign hosted a cross party panel discussion in the Mansion House.

Professor Richard Layte gave an excellent key note presentation on the scientific proof of the iportance of prevention and early intervention.

Kitty Holland then moderated a discussion between representatives of political parties. Senator Cait Keane - Fine Gael, Richard Boyd Barrett TD - People Before Profit, Senator Averil Power - Independent, Robert Troy TF - Fianna Fail, Sandra McLellan TD - Sinn Fein and Shane Dunphu Renua.

All representatives pledged support to the campaign and signed our pledge board promising to prioritise in the interests of children in the next general election.The debate was then opened up to the floor and many important issues were raised and insights offered.

For more updates check out facebook, Twitter and for videos Youtube

Richard Layte presentation slides

Campaign Chairperson, Marian Quinn

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Press Release: Children’s groups call for doubling of funding for early intervention programme

NOTE: The Panel Discussion Event will take place today from 2-4pm, Oak Room, Mansion House, Dublin 2 (Wed June 24).

Issued by Hands up for Children

Wednesday, June 24 2015

Children’s groups call for doubling of funding for early intervention

Early intervention campaign calls for access to parenting course for all parents

Hands up for Children has called for a doubling of State funding for intervention programmes aimed at improving outcomes for children and families.

The campaign includes 42 groups working in the children’s and social sectors and said that the current spend of €10m per year on the ABC Programme (€30m over three years) should be doubled to €20m per annum to ensure that current work is built on and expanded to include more areas.

Hands up for Children spokesperson Marian Quinn said that the Government currently funds 13 Area Based Childhood (ABC) Programmes which deliver early interventions such as speech and language therapy, literacy, parenting skills and social supports in communities that are most in need.

“The ABC programme is currently resourced through matched funding from Atlantic Philanthropies and the Department of Children. However, Atlantic is not making any further grants and Government needs to increase significantly its contribution to enable this work to meaningfully continue.”

Ms Quinn was speaking today at a cross political party discussion on the election commitments for the children’s sector, including early intervention services. The event was organised as part of theHands Up for Children campaign.

Representatives of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, People Before Profit, Renua and Independent Senators each presented their positions at a panel discussion which was Chaired by Irish Times journalist Kitty Holland. The campaign called for cross party support and the attending politicians were asked to publicly commit to prevention and early intervention as the one thing that they would do to make the greatest difference for children and young people.

Hands up for Children also called for every parent around the country, of children of all ages, to have access to a proven parenting course in their area. Further recommendations included to allocate sufficient resources across all government departments to implement the National Policy Framework for Children and young People, Better Outcomes Brighter Futures.

The discussion was also addressed by Trinity College Dublin Professor and ESRI Author Richard Layte who said: “Research continually shows us that infancy and childhood often represent a ‘critical period’ after which remedial treatment is less effective and increasingly expensive. Children’s environment literally shapes the developing body and mind and in doing so contributes to adult health as well as childhood and adult criminality, educational failure, later family breakdown and mental health. By investing in all our children we will be developing healthier, happier and more productive adults for all our tomorrows – and saving money in the process. Can we afford not to?

Hands up for Children is calling for prevention and early intervention initiatives for children and families to be a priority in the next Programme for Government and is being led by the Prevention and Early Intervention Network (PEIN).

The campaign is seeking all political parties and Independent candidates to adopt its 5 Thriving Childhood Principles which set out a case for realigning resources from crisis to prevention (see www.handsupforchildren.ie).

Facts n’ figures

  • Ireland invests 0.2% of GDP in early years services well below the OECD average of 0.8%
  • 12% of Irish children are living in consistent poverty
  • By age 13, one in three Irish children will have experienced a mental health difficulty
  • 15-20% of Irish nine year olds experience significant emotional and behavioural problems
  • One in four Irish children are overweight or obese.

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731

Twitter: @handup4children / #handsup4children

Web: www.handsupforchildren.ie and www.preventioninpractice.ie

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Next Campaign event - Cross Party Panel Discussion, June 24th

Book your place!

June 24th 2-4pm - Oak Room, Mansion House, Dublin 2.

Tickets are free, but strictly limited.

Click here to register

Panel Discussion


Kitty Holland (The Irish Times) will chair a cross party discussion on the importance of investing in Prevention and Early Intervention for children and young people. The keynote speaker, Professor Richard Layte (ESRI and Trinity College) will present the evidence on why early investment in evidence based programmes result in better outcomes for people and is also economically more efficient.

A representative from all the major political parties will then be invited to present their party policy on investing in children and embracing a preventative rather crisis driven model of child welfare. Confirmed speakers on the day are Sandra McLellan (Sinn Fein spokesperson on children), Robert Troy (Fianna Fail Spokesperson on Children) , Richard Boyd Barrett ( representative from the technical group), Shane Dunphy (representative from Renua) and a government representative to be confirmed.

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Dáil Questions on Prevention & Early Intervention

Parliamentary Questions No.s 280, 281, & 282

Dáil Questions addressed to the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs (Dr. James reilly) by Deputy Michael Healy-Rae for WRITTEN answer on 06/05/2015

Departmental Policy Reviews

QUESTION NO. 280. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he will audit the current spending on universal services, early intervention, and late intervention for children, and allocate a defined level of funding from all department budgets to facilitate early intervention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17707/15]

REPLY - Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy James Reilly):The importance of promoting prevention and early intervention for the Government is demonstrated by Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People (2014-2020) which was launched in 2014. The Framework is the first overarching national policy framework for the development and implementation of policies for children and young people. Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures puts the everyday lives of children and young people at its centre and requires Government Departments and State agencies to work together in an integrated way along with non-government organisations to achieve better outcomes for children and young people.

One of the commitments in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures relates to ‘exploring the development of cross-Government estimates for expenditure on children and young people’. My Department is in the process of progressing this work so as to identify expenditure on children across Government departments.

The theme of prevention and early intervention is a core element of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures. As part of the process of structuring a work plan for 2015, 'sponsor' Departments were each requested to identify a cross-sectoral priority. My Department has identified 'prevention and early intervention' as our key cross-sectoral priority and, in collaboration with the Advisory Council for Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, is now in the process of operationalising this key cross-sectoral priority to ensure that activities in this domain are focused on ensuring the optimum outcomes for children and young people.

Departmental Policy Reviews

QUESTION 281. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he will 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; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17806/15]

REPLY - Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy James Reilly): The importance of prevention and early intervention for the Government is demonstrated by Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People (2014-2020) which was launched in 2014. The Framework is the first overarching national policy framework for the development and implementation of policies for children and young people. Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures puts the everyday lives of children and young people at its centre and requires Government Departments and State agencies to work together in an integrated way along with non-government organisations to achieve better outcomes for children and young people.

The theme of prevention and early intervention is a core element of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures. It is identified as one of the key transformational goals which, with concerted effort, will lead to better outcomes for children and young people. As part of the process of structuring a work plan for 2015, 'sponsor' Departments were each requested to identify a cross-sectoral priority. My Department has identified 'prevention and early intervention' as our key cross-sectoral priority and, in collaboration with the Advisory Council for Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, is now in the process of operationalising this key cross-sectoral priority to ensure that activities in this domain are focused on ensuring the optimum outcomes for children and young people.

Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC) which were put in place to develop and implement a local planning model for interagency working to improve outcomes for children and young people, are a key element of the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures implementation structures. The CYPSC cover 0-24 years and are aimed at aligning local services with Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures to ensure a more connected and coordinated response to the needs and aspirations of children and young people. In recognition of the key role of the community and voluntary sector in such provision, this sector will now be involved as a matter of course in all committees.

At present there are 22 CYPSC established in Ireland across 22 counties and 25 local authority areas. Three CYPSC are yet to be established in Clare, Laois Offaly and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown. It is anticipated that by the end of 2015, all Children and Young People’s Services Committees will be in place and there will be full coverage across the State.

In supporting this process, staff within my Department are engaging with stakeholders to establish a sustainable funding arrangement for CYPSC in accordance with DCYA’s commitment (G48) in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: ‘put in place an agreed resourcing framework for CYPSC drawing on existing financial support from Tusla, Local Government and DCYA’.

Child and Family Agency Services

QUESTION 282. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he will commit to prevention and early intervention for childhood issues (details supplied); if he will provide details regarding the tested programmes that will strengthen childhood matters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17808/15]

REPLY - Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy James Reilly): The Child and Family Agency’s extensive programme of early intervention and preventative work, i.e. the Prevention, Participation and Family Support (PPFS) programme, which builds on the change of emphasis in the development of child welfare and protection services over recent years, was formally launched on 13th April, 2015. The programme constitutes a potentially significant step in achieving the policy objective of moving closer to a position where an enhanced focus of services is on prevention and early intervention rather than crisis management. This was a key rationale for the Government's establishment of the Child and Family Agency at the beginning of 2014 and is clearly reflected in the statutory responsibilities the Agency has been assigned.

On that same date I published the national High Level Policy Statement on Supporting Parents and Families (Parenting and Family Support). This is the first of a number of strategies to flow from Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The national policy framework for children and young people 2014 – 2020; others to follow will relate to Early Years; Youth; and Children’s & Young Persons’ Participation in Decision-making.

The Statement, which is available on my Departments website (www.dcya.ie) promotes 29 high-level policy messages intended to shape and guide ongoing change and future developments in the area. The policy orientation is very much geared towards developing the prevention and early intervention capability at the services level.

In relation to the request for information about particular programmes, I would direct the Deputy to the Agency’s website (www.Tusla.ie ) where there is a range and variety of resource materials available in that regard. The documentation provided under the publications section of the website includes “What Works in Family Support” which provides an extensive overview of evidence based family support practices and programmes for children and families.

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Photos & news from our first Campaign Event!

We were thrilled with the turn out at our first campaign event. We had a full house of well over a hundred people come out to support the campaign, and had excellent inputs from some of our champions: John Lonergan (former Governor of Mountjoy Prison), Norah Gibbons (Chair of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency), Tanya Ward (CEO of the Children's Rights Alliance), and Marian Quinn (Chair of the Prevention and Early Intervention Network). Many thanks to those of you who came along to support us, and we look forward to seeing you at the next event in June!

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Press Release: Hands Up for Children Campaign Launches today

News release: Issued by the Prevention and Early Intervention Network

Wednesday April 29, 2015.

Campaign Calls for Children to be Election Priority

Call to realign child and family services from crisis to prevention

A coalition of almost 30 organisations have joined together to launch a new campaign which is calling for children to be an election priority.

The Hands up for Children campaign is calling for preventative and early interventions for children and families to be a priority in the next programme for government.

The campaign is seeking political parties and Independent candidates to adopt its 5 Thriving Childhood Principles which set out a case for increased investment in early intervention and for realigning resources from crisis to prevention. The campaign is also inviting support from wider organisations and individuals.

Hands up for Children Chairperson Marian Quinn said decision makers have choices and can commit to children: “Looking after our children, or not, is a policy decision – simple as that. And to date, our Government has chosen not to see our future generation as a core priority.

“A recent Higher Education Authority (HEA) report highlighted that if you are born in a disadvantaged area you are up to 84% less likely to go on to higher education. UNICEF recently found that from 2008-2012 child poverty in Ireland increased by 10% to 29%. It’s clear that Ireland’s children, and the services and structures responsible for them, are in crisis. This cannot, and must not continue. “

“Furthermore, UNICEF found that other EU countries, which also experienced austerity, had reduced their levels of child poverty. We know that reactive late interventions are expensive and that they don’t work. We also have loads of evidence which shows that early intervention is more effective and cheaper.”

“The Hands Up for Children campaign, being launched today, is a coalition of organisations who are calling for politicians and policy makers move away from crisis driven responses, to an incremental realignment towards a prevention and early intervention focus.”

Also addressing the launch was Social Justice Campaigner John Lonergan who said that the next Government could honour the commitments pledged in the 2012 Children’s Referendum by investing in children and families in the right way and at the right time.

“A clear example of what we can do is in the case of speech and language therapy. If we invest sufficiently and early enough to support all children who need services when they are three and four, we can ensure that all children get off to a good start in school. However, existing HSE services often do not engage with children until they are seven or eight, by which time it is too late.”

The launch was also addressed by the Tusla Chairperson, Norah Gibbons and Children’s Right Alliance Chief Executive, Tanya Ward.

The 5 Thriving Principles of Childhood can be viewed atwww.handsupforchildren.ie. On the website organisations and individuals are also invited to sign up their support, or share the information with others.

Facts n’ figures

  • Ireland invests 0.4% of GDP in early years services well below the OECD average of 0.7%.
  • 12% of Irish children and living in consistent poverty, 18% are at risk of poverty
  • By age 13, one in three Irish children will have experienced a mental health difficulty
  • 15-20% of Irish nine year olds experience significant emotional and behavioural problems
  • One in four Irish children are overweight or obese.

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh: (086) 317 9731

Twitter: @handsup4children / #handsupforchildren

About the Campaign

Hands up for Children is an initiative of the Prevention and Early Intervention Network (PEIN), www.preventioninpractice.ie

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Do we really care about our children? Then let’s focus on the next generation

As the Hands Up for Children Campaign kicks off today, one of our campaign partners, Marian Quinn, talks to thejournal.ie about the problems facing Irish children today - and how prevention and early intervention can help. She says:

"Looking after our children, or not, is a policy decision – simple as that. And to date, our Government has chosen not to see our future generation as being a core priority.

The evidence tells us that it is more effective, and cheaper, to intervene earlier rather than later to improve outcomes. This approach has already been successfully taken on board by some services in Ireland, such as BreastCheck and the other national health screening programmes. Despite this knowledge, services for children and families are caught in a cycle of fire fighting, without the structures or the resources to attack the roots of the problems."

Read the full article here

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Information Briefing Event

Hands Up for Children is having an information briefing about the campaign on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 from 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

The purpose of the event is to provide information about the campaign, and to recruit organisations as campaign partners. Remember, this will be a broad campaign seeking to prioritise government spending in areas of prevention and early intervention rather than crisis intervention. This will be an important platform for many interest groups working in Child and Family Services Child but also for groups involved with housing, mental health youth activity, crime prevention, poverty reduction, education, early years care and education – and many others.

Speakers will include:
John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy Prison
Norah Gibbons, Tusla
Tanya Ward, Children's Rights Alliance
Marian Quinn, Chair of Prevention and Early Intervention Network

Come along, find out more about the campaign, and sign up as a partner on the day. To book your place, click here.

Please feel free to share the event with people in your network!

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