Senator Ged Nash and Councillor Michelle Hall with Yvonne Forde, Laura Sherry and Hugh Doogan of the Genesis Programme at the national ABC Showcase.
The twelve area based childhood (ABC) initiatives, including The Genesis Programme based in Drogheda, attended a national showcase on what has been achieved to date and to plan for the future.
The event enabled all of the initiatives of the ABC Programme to exhibit their work, which is focused on delivering prevention and early intervention programmes to support young families.
TDs and Senators were also invited to the event in Dublin, and local representatives, Deputy Gerry Adams, Senator Ged Nash and Councillor Michelle Hall attended.
Hugh Doogan, Programme Manager with The Genesis Programme, said that, since 2014, in excess of 10,400 parents, children and professionals (early years practitioners, teachers, community workers, and nurses) have benefitted from Genesis services.
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“It has been very valuable to learn what other initiatives have achieved, within their communities, and what has worked best” Hugh said. “It is also very important that as colleagues we agree a shared view on how to take this work into the future for the benefit of as many families as possible.”
Prevention means developing strengths, supports and strategies to prevent a problem from arising. Early Intervention means anticipating, identifying and addressing problems as they arise or escalate.
Each of the ABC’s provide high quality, evidence–based supports, working with statutory and community organisations to achieve better outcomes for children and their families. These include parenting, literacy, health and education programmes.
Looking to the future it was discussed that the ABC Programme should have a strong focus on Child Poverty – working together with the DCYA, Tusla and the UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre at NUI Galway.
The ABC Programme is funded by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA) and aligned with Tusla through the Prevention, Partnership & Family Support (PPFS) Programme.
The findings of the National Evaluation of the ABC Programme 2013-2017, carried out by the Centre for Effective Services (CES) was published last year. It found a positive contribution across the 12 initiatives and identified the following benefits:
Furthermore, service provision in localities where the initiatives are based was found to have changed in three main ways: