The Prevention & Early Intervention Network is a network of evidence-based practice, advocacy and research organisations across the Republic of Ireland that share a commitment to improving outcomes for children, young people, and their communities. The network, which is funded through the Atlantic Philanthropies Disadvantaged Children and Youth Programme, first met in 2010. Membership is open to programmes in receipt of funding from Atlantic Philanthropies.
Family Matters Initiative - Ballyfermot/ Chapelizod Partnership
Blue Skies Initiative
SPECS - Bray Area Partnership
Centre for Effective Services
Child and Family research Centre, NUIG
Childhood Development Initiative (CDI)
Children’s Rights Alliance
Dublin Docklands and East Inner City Programme
Grangegorman ABC Programme
Irish Penal Reform Trust
Irish Youth Foundation
Longford and Westmeath Parenting Programme
National Women’s Council of Ireland (Y-factor)
Nurture Programme - Katherine Howard Foundation
Parenting NI (Odyssey)
Preparing for Life, Northside Partnership
Rialto Youth (Rialto Learning Community)
South Dublin County Partnership
The Genesis Programme - Louth Lead Partnership
The Prevention & Early Intervention Network is committed to working towards a society where
- the role of evidence-based/informed prevention and early intervention in working for better outcomes for children and young people and is understood nationally and locally
- the central importance of the rights of the child are recognised legally, in government policy and amongst the public at large,
- a funding stream for evidence-based/informed prevention and early intervention is central to the implementation of government policy
Ireland has been at the forefront of supporting Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) initiatives through partnership approaches between The Atlantic Philanthropies, NGOs and Government since 2004. The Atlantic Philanthropies has invested €96 million to promote PEI in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, through the demonstration of effective practice, dissemination and network building and developing capacity and infrastructure. A further €30m investment has been promised via the Area Based Approach to Childhood Programme in 2014, which will enable 13 areas around the country to implement prevention and early intervention programmes.
Atlantic Philanthropies also supports the advocacy and research activities of initiatives promoting PEI approaches in areas such as: mental health, parenting support, early childhood care and education, penal reform, children’s rights, sexual health, domestic violence, literacy, social and emotional learning, and youth mentoring.
Research Into Effectiveness
￼The effectiveness of PEI initiatives in improving outcomes for children is being rigorously evaluated. This is to ensure that they help the communities in which they operate, but that policy makers and those who design and deliver services for children can benefit from their experience and put it to work for other communities.
41 studies are currently underway or completed of which:
- 15 are Randomised Control Trials
- 11 are quasi-experimental
- 4 are qualitative
- and 11 others include action research and case studies.
The Key Messages Of Prevention And Early Intervention
Main objective - to provide a social and emotional bedrock for the current and future generations of babies, children and young people across the island of Ireland by helping them and their parents (or other main caregivers) before problems arise.
Simply put, intervening early helps children become more resilient and to realise their full potential. Prevention and early intervention is essential to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and disadvantage.
Why Is It Important?
Prevention and Early Intervention can have life-long positive effects on outcomes for children and young people, such as better mental health and reduced juvenile crime.
Prevention and Early Intervention can be less expensive and more effective than later intervention, preventing hardship and suffering for those at risk, including children, families and communities.
It makes sense – prevention is better than cure.
- Prevention and early intervention programmes help children develop their social and learning skills, primarily at an early stage of their lives. It is known that 90% of brain development has happened by the time a child is three years old.
- Lessons learnt in the first three years of life can last a lifetime, and prepare an individual to progress physically, mentally, socially and emotionally at every stage of the life cycle – especially in becoming a good parent.
- Prevention and early intervention approaches can have life-long effects on outcomes for children and young people, such as better mental health, reduced juvenile crime and improved educational attainment.
- We know from research that it is more effective and more cost-efficient to provide support early on, rather than later. Prevention and early intervention approaches have proven their effectiveness and have been used in many countries all over the world for generations.
- Early intervention and prevention approaches make sense for everyone at every stage of the life-cycle. Intervention in later years must still be a priority, but we must provide support early on as well as at crisis points.
Acting now is more effective than intervening later.
- Tackling anti-social behaviour and early school leaving requires a shift in thinking away from policy decisions that target symptoms to evidence-informed, longer-term approaches that address root causes.
- Research in Ireland indicates enormous cost-benefits of Prevention and Early Intervention Programmes due to consequential savings from reduced use of health and social services, reductions in crime, as well as lowering unemployment due to improved second and third level educational attainment.
- There is abundant evidence to suggest that the early years of life create the foundation in learning how to express emotion and to understand and respond to the emotions of others.
It’s already happening in Ireland.
- The Irish Government has already invested in Prevention and Early Intervention, most recently through the Area Based Apporach to overty Initiative, and preveiously through the Prevention and Early Intervention Programme. The Atlantic Philanthropies has made huge investments also.
- The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020 makes a series of specific commitments to Prevention and Earlier Intervention. The are also clear commitments in the Programme for Government on primary care, mental health, early childhood care and education, literacy, delivering equity in education, and homelessness.
- For the investment already made to have an impact over the longer term, the principles and practice of PEI need to be embedded into both existing and new services for children and families.
- Read more.