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Initiative to support disadvantaged children in three Dublin areas.

Resource type: News

The Irish Times |

Hundreds of children in some of the poorest parts of Dublin will receive intensive support under a programme aimed at creating better prospects for young people in disadvantaged areas. The Government yesterday officially signed the contracts for an initiative launched last August which will focus on providing intensive support for young people and their families in west Tallaght, Darndale and Ballymun. The programme aims to help children in disadvantaged areas overcome problems such as early school-leaving and low achievement. The €36 million project, co-funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, will evaluate a range of interventions to see if they can make a positive difference to the lives of at-risk children. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said a growing body of international research supported earlier and targeted intervention to secure better longer-term outcomes for children, especially for those disadvantaged by background or family circumstance. Results from the projects would be benchmarked and evaluated over the next five years, and discussed in a forum which would involve the Office of the Minister for Children. The three projects supported by the initial stages of the programme include a childhood development initiative in west Tallaght; an early-intervention project based in the northside communities of Belcamp, Darndale and Moatview; and an initiative of the Ballymun Development Group for Children. John R Healy, chief executive of Atlantic Philanthropies, said: “Gathering evidence about what works and what does not work in these three communities, and applying this knowledge to the design of programmes more generally, will help improve the lives of thousands of children in Ireland for years to come.” He said Atlantic Philanthropies was committed to furthering its partnership with Government to consider how best to make available to service providers continuing high-quality technical assistance, including evaluation. “Dr Noirín Hayes, chairwoman of the Youngballymun project, said all the projects shared a commitment to children and to developing supports which would achieve positive outcomes for them.

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