Using Long-Range Planning to Fix a Long-Term Problem

Resource type: Grantee Story

The Dublin suburb of Tallaght West is on the Irish Government’s short list of socially and economically disadvantaged areas. Not surprisingly, services for children in this neighbourhood are limited and fragmented. Local preschools can accommodate only 300 of the 1,500 applicants. Policy and practice in Tallaght West, like most of Ireland, have not kept pace with international research that has established clearly the positive impact of early intervention on children’s development.

Purpose and Impact of the Grant

For 18 years, the nonprofit organisation called An Cosan has pioneered innovative childhood development and family-support services in Tallaght West and elsewhere in Ireland. The grant from Atlantic is enabling An Cosan to develop a 10-year plan to provide comprehensive services for all the children of Tallaght West.

With Atlantic support, An Cosan convened a consortium of 20 leaders from local schools, agencies and other service providers committed to improving standards and practices, and integrating their services. The consortium launched a thorough planning process that included consultation with children and families, a community-wide needs assessment, an audit of local and national services, and an analysis of costs and benefits.

Kids from Tallaght WestThis process generated a plan to improve the lives of disadvantaged children in Tallaght West through a comprehensive early-years programme; after-school services; services that address specific problems, such as bullying; advocacy; and rigorous evaluation. The consortium has published the plan and is now seeking investment to enable implementation, including government funding for the first three years. The consortium plans to begin implementation in April 2006.

Read the Taoiseach’s speech at the launch of the Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative’s Ten Year Strategy.

Related Resources

Issues:

Children & Youth

Global Impact:

Republic of Ireland

Tags:

An Cosan, Tallaght