Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, has today (Thursday) called for a national framework to be developed to ensure information is being shared effectively between agencies providing child community services.
Senator Keane made her comments after the publication of the report , ‘ Leading Community Change: Delivering Better Outcomes in an Irish Community’ by the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) based in Tallaght West. The report recommends the development of such a framework, and also suggests that child and community services be incentivised to realign delivery and resources towards evidence-informed models.
“I welcome this report by the CDI, which is the result of 6 years of research on children’s community services. Its findings deserve serious consideration as I know that during its research the CDI developed, coordinated and evaluated seven prevention and early intervention programmes, with a budget of €16 million, targeting 5,000 children and families.
“As the CDI is in my own area of Dublin South-West, I am very familiar with the great work that is being done by the organisation. The Tallaght experience has highlighted the need for a much greater emphasis on how national and community based children’s organisations and services work together. Some Children’s Services Committees (CSCs) have developed such protocols and the CDI recommends that a national information-sharing protocol should be agreed and included in the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, which I fully support.
” The CDI’s work is part of the Prevention and Early Intervention Programme (PEIP), a project which is co-funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies, which aims to improve outcomes for children in disadvantaged areas. The Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald TD, must be commended for the huge role she has played in the development of progressive policies in the area of children’s services. She has been responsible for widening the scope and scale of prevention and early intervention work, especially through the €30 million Area Based Childhood (ABC) programme.
“I am urging the Minister to strongly consider the findings of the CDI report and go about implementing some of its key recommendations including the development of a national framework for protocols and policies for agencies involved in the delivery of children’s services.”