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What’s Working for Children 2011 – Conference report, presentations, and more…

Resource type: News

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 Highlights from the What’s Working for Children 2011 Conference
Evidence based practice – the what, why and how
Dublin, Ireland ,      11 and 12 May 2011 

 “Our natural resource is our children; they will form the next generation and will impact the economy and hugely influence our quality of life.” — Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald, T.D.

“The work we are doing is of enormous importance, it can help secure our future” — Dr. Tony Crooks

“Smart government is nimble government. It is increasingly possible to use rigorous evidence to identify what works, to calculate return on investment routinely and consistently, and to pass and implement policies based on findings.” — Dr. Steve Aos

“The evidence based movement is an international experiment to make better use of research findings in typical service settings. The purpose is to produce greater benefits to children, adults, families and society.” — Dr. Karen Blase

“We believe the earlier the investments with children, the greater the return to society.” — Mary Sutton, Country Director, The Atlantic Philanthropies

“I am making a pitch that people use the information from the Growing Up in Ireland study. It is freely available for bona fide researchers. Findings allow tailoring of services to meet children’s needs.” — Dr. Sinéad Hanafin

“There are long term savings if you get it right.” — Billy Gamble

“Every now and then we get an opportunity to change things. I feel we are at one of those moments now. We need to grasp these possibilities and make a real difference. Each of the community, government and philanthropic sectors can’t do it on their own, but working together we can do things.” — Dr. Tony Crooks

Thank you to everyone who came along and took part in the What’s Working for Children Conference 2011. It was a fantastic two days with excellent presenters, great ideas, and a very positive message about what we can all do to continue to build and improve services for children, young people, and families in Ireland. We have had some really good feedback from delegates and speakers alike and hopefully there will be more events like it in the future.

Mary Sutton
Mary Sutton, Atlantic Philanthropies Country Director of the Republic of Ireland, delivered the opening address on 2nd day of the conference.

In the meantime, we will be regularly updating the conference website Right now you will find a copy of the conference report available for download along with all the presentations from the conference speakers, and the presentations from the seminars as well as video of the entire two-day event and photos. We also have a full delegate list available to download.

In the coming months we plan to feature information from projects and initiatives throughout Ireland, here, on the website – starting with some of the projects you heard about in the conference seminars. We hope to continue to spread the message of the value of evidence based practice and investment in early intervention and prevention initiatives.


From left to right: Aileen O’Donoghue (CEO of Archways); Tony Crooks (Chair of Archways); Frances Fitzgerald (Minister for Children); Marie Dullae (Department of Children & Youth Affairs);  Sinead Hanafin (Department of Children & Young People); Jane Forman (Atlantic Philanthropies)

Thank you again to everyone who came along and helped to make the conference a success. Thank you in particular to our speakers, seminar presenters, panelists, and all the supporting organisations.

You can keep in touch with updates on our Facebook page (here), or by following us on Twitter (, and of course on here on our website (


What’s Working for Children 2011 Conference was supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies.

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