About Us

Ireland has been at the forefront of supporting Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) initiatives through partnership approaches between The Atlantic Philanthropies, NGOs, state agencies and Government since 2004. We have become a world leader in the design, implementation and evaluation of evidence informed services which intervene early, seeking to prevent difficulties for children and families and to identify and respond early to emerging difficulties.

The Prevention and Early Intervention Network (PEIN) harnesses the commitment, expertise and experience of our many members, and the various perspectives which they bring. PEIN networking events offer opportunities to learn, share, challenge and collaborate in a supportive environment which seeks to promote effective approaches and provide a collective voice for the sector.

Our Network

Since 2010 the Prevention and Early Intervention Network (PEIN) has been harnessing the commitment, expertise and experience of our many members, and the various perspectives which they bring. PEIN offers its members opportunities to learn, share, challenge and collaborate in a supportive environment which seeks to promote effective approaches and provide a collective voice for the sector.

Our Purpose is to:

   Share, develop and disseminate learning in PEI practices and approaches;

   Support the work of members / member organisations;

  Influence policy and practice, nationally, internationally as well as locally.

Key Members

Dara Terry

B.Soc. Sc. UCD, P Grad Dip Personnel Management NCIRL M.Sc. Child Protection and Welfare.TCD.

Dara trained as a Social Worker and worked in intellectual disability before moving to Training and Development in the Private Sector including running her own training consultancy business for many years.  Dara returned to Family work over 20 years ago as Family Support Manager in St Andrew’s Resource Centre with responsibility for programmes to support families, therapeutic services, child protection, policy and development.  She has a particular interest in early intervention using family support principals and progressive universalism as a method of working.  The Family resource centre is ideally situated to provide this early intervention service within communities providing scaffolding for the family as required. 

Dara is also a board member of the National Forum of Family resource centres representing 121 Family Resource Centres nationally and represents this board in relation to Childcare and Strategic development nationally.  She is on the executive committee of Kinship Care Ireland,  an embryonic organisation striving  to provide support for the hidden carers providing Kinship Care in Ireland. 

Contact details:

Niall Sexton

Programme Manager, Preparing for Life

Niall Sexton joined Preparing for Life as Programme Manager in 2018.  PFL is an evidence based, manualised Early Intervention Programme providing home visiting and other supports to families in a highly disadvantaged community in North Dublin.  Niall has a background in community development and non-profit management in the United States and Ireland.  He has previously managed homeless and addiction services in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before returning to Ireland to work in developing local responses to disadvantage and social exclusion in Dublin.   Niall is a qualified Social Worker with an MSW in Social Work and Community Organising from the University of Pittsburgh.

Contact details:
(087) 700-3492

Dr Deirdre MacIntyre

Director, Institute of Child Education and Psychology, (ICEP) Europe

Deirdre is a clinical psychologist and co-founder of ICEP Europe, an independent training and research institute, specialising in psychology, inclusion and special educational neds. Before establishing ICEP Europe, Deirdre was principal clinical psychologist in the Eastern Regional Health Authority and she is also the co-author of the Stay Safe Programme, a nationally implemented child protection programme. Deirdre is involved in the development of evidence-based resilience and wellbeing initiatives for different groups including children and adolescents, young mothers and unemployed youth. She teaches on collaborative programmes with Dublin City University and the University of East London.  Among Deirdre’s special interests are inclusion, resilience and nature connectedness. She is involved in EU funded research on nature-based solutions, resilience and wellbeing, and on the prevention of gender-based violence.

Contact details:
087 9314224

Aileen O donoghue

Aileen has a degree in Social Science from UCD and an Msc in Leadership from the University of Ulster. Aileen has worked for a number of years in community and local development in both the statutory and community and voluntary sectors, and served as chair of the Irish Local Development Network for a number of years. Aileen has been the CEO of Archways for the past 8 years and continues to participate on the executive committees of organisations including the Parenting Network and PEIN.

Marian Quinn

Marian is Chief Executive of the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI), an organisation co-funded by Government and philanthropy, to design, deliver and evaluate a range of services aimed at improving outcomes for children and families.  Based in a disadvantaged area of Dublin, this has involved commissioning multiple independent evaluations, developing a broad range of quality assurance processes and delivery mechanisms, and balancing an evidence informed approach with a community led ethos. Her work in CDI has offered Marian the opportunity to lead a significant knowledge transfer process for diverse audiences, support front line practitioners and their line managers to take on new approaches, and establish excellent governance structures and systems in a green field site.   

Marian has previously worked in the Department of Justice where she had responsibility for children and families in the asylum process, and the Health Services Executive as Director of Children’s Services.  She has also worked in the voluntary sector with early school leavers and young people at risk.  She wrote and managed a national crime prevention initiative, and has been published widely in relation to youth crime. 

Marian has presented to national and international audiences on the development and enhancement of services for children and families, evidence-based approaches and change management processes. She is a qualified Life Coach and has a Masters in Adult Education. She is a member of the Board of Management for the the new National Childrens’ Hospital and also the Board of the Airfield Trust, and is currently Chair of the Prevention and Early Intervention Network.   

Marian is co-author of Click Click, the number one best seller telling the true story of the three Kavanagh sisters and their journey to overcome child sex abuse.

Contact details:
087 3158836

Lána Cummins

Lána is the Assistant Director of the Early Learning Initiative, National College of Ireland, an Area Based Childhood programme for the Dublin Docklands and East Inner City. Lána has been involved in early years, parenting, child-care and family support through policy and operations at both local and government level.

Currently, Lána has responsibility for community-based prevention and early intervention programmes for children, young people and families ranging from zero to eighteen years of age in Dublin’s inner city. Lána firmly believes in providing equality of access and opportunity for all, with as early a start as possible.

Contact details:

Francis Chance

Francis Chance, Consultant in Children and Family Services

Francis has over 40 years’ experience of working with children and families in Ireland in both the statutory and voluntary sectors. Currently Francis is working as a Consultant in Children and Family Services, having worked with the Katharine Howard Foundation as Programme Manager for the Nurture Programme: Infant Health and Wellbeing over the last five years. The Nurture Programme sought to strengthen the HSE’s universal supports to parents in pregnancy and early childhood. Previously Francis worked with Barnardos and with the Eastern Health Board / Northern Area Health Board. Francis is a Professional Social Worker, qualifying from the University of Liverpool.

Contact details:
086 6068753

Lyndsey Anderson

PEIN Coordinator

Lyndsey joined as Coordinator with PEIN in November 2019. Before joining PEIN Lyndsey worked as Regeneration Board Coordinator, to lead and drive the social, physical, economic and cultural regeneration of three regeneration projects in Dublin’s South Inner City. Prior to this Lyndsey worked with one of the largest housing associations in Ireland in the research and education departments. Lyndsey sits on the Steering Committee of the Targeted Responses with Youth (TRY) project, which she established with a small group of community workers. She has wide ranging experience in interagency work, social policy analysis and research, and community work, and brings strong project development and management experience to PEIN. Lyndsey has a Masters in Social Policy from UCD.

Some Key Successes

PEIN has successfully advocated for the following:

Establishment of the PEI Unit in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Inclusion of prevention in the founding legislation of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency

 Inclusion of PEI in the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures.

Research Into Effectiveness

The effectiveness of prevention and early intervention initiatives in improving outcomes for children has been and continues to be rigorously evaluated. This ensures the delivery of the most effective support to the children, families and communities in which they operate, and also ensures that policy makers and those who design and deliver services for children and families can benefit from this experience and put it to work in other communities and populations.
Key Prevention And Early Intervention Messages
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.

The Main objective of the network is – to provide a social and emotional bedrock for the current and future generations of infants, children and young people across the island of Ireland by helping them and their parents (or other main caregivers) before problems arise.

Why Is It Important?

Prevention and Early Intervention can have life-long positive effects on outcomes for children and young people, such as achievement of developmental milestones; educational attainment; better mental health and reduced juvenile crime.

Prevention and early intervention have been shown to impact positivity on the entire life course of the child, reducing their need to avail of a wide range of state services at later stages in their lives and increasing their quality of life. There is clear international evidence on the long-term cost-effectiveness of prevention and early intervention programmes in reducing the long-term need for more costly interventions throughout the child’s life.


In short…

It makes sense – prevention is better than cure.
Acting now is more effective than intervening later.
We’ve got the know-how.