Dublin South West TD and Independent Minister, Katherine Zappone, welcomed West Tallaght’s Community Development Initiative (CDI) to Leinster House to brief TDs and Senators on the need for continued support of its programmes.
The CDI outlined what has been achieved in Tallaght West over the past 10 years and the unique expertise, which has been developed in improving outcomes for children and families.
As a special invitee of the Minister, CDI highlighted that supports have been provided to 14,400 children, young people families and staff since 2007 – and said there are many opportunities to grow this into the future.
Addressing Oireachtas members, CDI said that it plans to continue commissioning, developing and evaluating prevention and early intervention programmes in Tallaght West.
It also highlighted the unique expertise that it has developed in designing, planning, co-ordinating and evaluating prevention and early intervention approaches – and called for this knowledge to be more utilised to benefit other communities and services nationally.
CDI CEO Marian Quinn gave the example of CDI recently commencing to work with the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) to develop a Restorative Practices ‘train the trainer’ programme for teachers.
“This model also could be developed, reviewed and then also applied to many other health and social care areas such as family support, social work, social care, youth and community work and the Gardaí.”
CDI also highlighted the potential to roll out its proven Speech and Language Therapy Service Chit Chat and literacy programme Doodle Den to all DEIS schools nationwide, as this would carry enormous benefit to children.
Ms Quinn said given its unique expertise there were also opportunities for CDI to work with other child and family service providers.
“For example, there could be an opportunity to work with Family Resource Centres which are currently expanding their network. This could be to assist with the design of future services, using a Logic Model approach to plan services and to embed measurement structures to ensure intended outcomes.”
Ms Quinn said: “The core of CDI’s work should continue to be developing, delivering and evaluating prevention and early intervention programmes in Tallaght West as that is our ‘home base’.
“This means continuing existing programmes including parental supports; children’s literacy; children’s speech and language; training adults and young people in restorative practices and strengthening access to services for 0-3 year olds.
Speaking at the event Minister Zappone said: “It is a significant achievement and milestone, for any local community organisation to survive for a whole decade, and much more so, to thrive in the way that CDI Tallaght West has done. This is a great testament to the passion, commitment, and indeed diligence of the board and staff of CDI over the years.”
Ms Quinn thanked Minister Katherine Zappone for her special invite to Leinster House: “Minister Zappone was instrumental in the original establishment of CDI and we know that she understands our work and its value. We are very grateful that at the time of marking CDI’s 10th Anniversary, she has afforded us the opportunity to present our work and plans to Oireachtas members.
“CDI remains fully committed to achieving the best outcomes for children and families – and we are looking forward to working with the Government, opposition parties and across Departments to plan and resource future work,” Ms Quinn concluded.