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 PEIN POST       

A quarterly newsletter from the Prevention and Early Intervention Network  April 2022
New home for PEIN in Limerick

PEIN HQ has a new base in Limerick! We are delighted to have just moved into the Southill Hub. Being located within a Community & Voluntary setting is a priority for PEIN so we are delighted with our new space. For members in Limerick, or visiting the MidWest, the kettle is on if you fancy stopping by to say hello:
We are hoping to see you all at our launch event next week. What better way to send our new position paper out into the world than through some lively political dialogue. We will be joined by representatives from all the main parties who will tell us;  How our Position Paper on Prevention and Early Intervention in Child and Family Services aligns with their existing party policy; How PEIN can work with them to ensure that their  manifesto for the next general election aligns with the priorities of our Position Paper; and how all parties can work cooperatively to ensure that Prevention and Early Intervention for children and families is a core priority in the next Programme for Government. Don’t forget to register for your link to this exciting event.

Living in interesting times

A pandemic, a cyber-attack and now the Russian war on Ukraine resulting in unprecedented numbers of refugees arriving in Ireland in parallel with a spiralling increase in the cost of living - we are truly living up to the Chinese proverb. It may be timely for PEIN as an organisation and for each of our members within their own settings – to reflect on what all this means for the children, families and communities that we work with and for the services that we provide. 
In the aftermath of the pandemic, there are two dominant and recurring themes that shape our work: The needs of children and families before the pandemic have not gone away and the need to prioritise applying a prevention and early intervention lens on all the challenges that we jointly face has never been so important
There has been some positive learning from the pandemic such as the benefits for families of hybrid working. Most importantly we have learnt that major public service reform can happen quickly and effectively if there is the political will and a sense of urgency. However, there is growing evidence that the most disadvantaged before the pandemic have suffered most and that the poverty and inequality gap has widened. And, most concerningly, waiting lists have lengthened and the bar to access services has gone up. The “not bad enough yet” rule seems to apply to children trying to access services which are vital to their development. It is not rocket science that they will need longer term, more intensive and therefore more costly services as a result.
Recently Tusla surveyed its Community and Voluntary Sector Partners on the supports that they might be able to offer to the incoming Ukrainian refugees. PEIN’s response included the following:
  • "Potential for PEIN to play a national and local coordinating role in conjunction with Tusla and CYPSCs
  • PEIN could encourage and support our members locally to get involved in integrating Ukrainian families into communities and support services
  • PEIN members could support the assessment and on-going support of host families 
  • Some PEIN members have developed particular expertise and resources working with refugee families e.g. the Early Learning Initiative play mats scheme

  • PEIN could develop / contribute to best practice guidance and support advice for services and host families on responding to trauma in parents and children 
  • The PEIN Home Visiting Alliance members could establish peer home visiting services within the Ukrainian Community: identifying, training and supporting peer home visitors to visit and support other Ukrainian families
  • PEIN member services could host or deliver play, art and drama therapy for children in local services 
  • PEIN members could host TEFL courses and other opportunities for Ukrainian children and families to link together and to integrate.
There are a number of issues which would need to be born in mind in offering these supports:  
  • It will be limited what services can achieve within existing financial resources without impacting on other service demands. The availability of additional resources will greatly enhance what can be offered, building on existing service infrastructure.
  • It will be important to strike the right balance between addressing the pressing needs of Ukrainians fleeing the war while continuing to address the needs of the existing communities and of families who are homeless or living in direct provision. In particular this will be true of health services and disability services with already excessive waiting lists
  • It will be essential that best practice standards are maintained in relation to safeguarding in selecting and managing host families and in delivering support services. 
  • Can I encourage our members locally to:
  • Reflect on how you can best support Ukrainian families arriving in your community
  • Promote dialogue with the incoming refugees to hear what their support needs are and what skills and expertise they bring with them that can be tapped into 
  • Liaise with your partner agencies and any coordinating structures (through CYPSCs and Local Authorities) to coordinate your responses
  • Share your successes and challenges through PEIN
  • Let us know any support that PEIN can offer to you both in delivering services and in advocating for polices which are as responsive as possible to the needs of all children and families.
           Francis Chance,

           Chairperson, PEIN
Results from the PEIN Member's Survey

Thank you very much to the members (over a third) who completed our on-line survey.
Here are some of the headlines from what you told us:
  • The last couple of years has seen the highest rise in PEIN membership
  • 86% of you would recommend PEIN membership to a colleague
  • In terms of PEIN’s  role, the provision of a collective voice that champions prevention and early intervention in the child and family services sector is the most important function
  • 57% of members have been or are currently a member of a PEIN Working Group
  • 86% have attended PEIN events virtually since March 2020 (wow!)
  • Out of 5 stars, PEIN events got an overall rating of 4.4
  • 71% feel that members should be listed on the new website
  • The PEIN Post and podcast are going down a treat, with some valuable suggestions for ongoing content and guests provided
  • 57% of you would very much like more opportunities to meet and interact with each other, with the majority preferring in-person events
  • The most valuable components of PEIN’s work were cited as advocacy, networking, keeping up to date with policy developments and ‘being a loud and proud voice for our sector’
  • Something noted as lacking in PEIN membership is knowing who the other members are (we hear you and are working on that)
  • Funding security topped the wish list for the sector
The two draw winners for the €25 one-for-all vouchers are …..drum roll please….Imelda Graham and Alexandra Necula (CDI Tallaght)!

If you aren’t already subscribed to Perspectives on Prevention, then please do. We are already 4 episodes in and there is so much more to come. Listen to Marian Quinn’s insightful conversations with Vivian Guerin, Anne Genockey, Eddie D’Arcy and Shannon Baker and let us know who else you would like to hear on the PEIN podcast.

CDI’s Restorative Practice training

Getting Started with Restorative Practices
This training course takes place over two mornings a week apart and provides an overview of Restorative Practices along with practical tools for using a restorative approach in your daily life. When you have done this short course, you will be able to:
Use Restorative Language: This is a way of talking that promotes empathy and understanding between colleagues and service users. Using restorative language helps us to build relationships and to stop conflict getting out of hand; and
Have Restorative Conversations: These are conversations we have with others if we have a problem with another person when either they have let us down or we have let them down. Sorting the problem out restoratively really helps with keeping the relationship healthy.
Restorative Practices Facilitation Skills
This training is open to people who have done our Getting Started With Restorative Practices course or its equivalent and takes place over three consecutive days. People doing this training learn how to facilitate:
Restorative Circles: Which can be used to build good relationships or to solve problems in groups.
Restorative Meetings: Which are used to resolve conflict in groups; and
Restorative Conferences: Which are used to address serious wrongdoing. RP conferences work on the basis that the wrongdoer takes responsibility for their actions and the people harmed by the wrongdoing are supported to overcome and move on from harm.
For more information and to book please contact
Circles of Connection
The Childhood Development Initiative’s Restorative Practices Podcast Series, Circles of Connection, is available on Audioboom:
 The Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) is based in Fettercairn, Tallaght, and is funded by TUSLA to design, deliver and evaluate interventions which improve outcomes for children, families and communities. One element of our work is the delivery of Restorative Practices (RP) training which is a proven method for developing and maintaining strong relationships, resolving conflict in a healthy manner and repairing harm when wrongdoing has occurred. This Podcast series features interviews with people from across Ireland who have adopted RP as a way of relating to others and talk about the benefits that RP have brought to their life and work.
 Further Information about or RP Programme is available from our website here or by contacting George Best via

Bringing Stories to Life

 “Sharing Picture books expands our empathy, introduces us to astonishing  art, stimulates our brains, bumps up our IQ, increases our concentration, boosts our vocabulary, helps us with social skills, deepens child/carer relationships and gives us thousands and thousands of worlds to explore” Mary Murphy 2019For further information please contact Suzanne or Tom at Little Voices / ABC Start Right 0874390802
We are hoping there will be training available in using this programme later in 2022.
The BSTL programme also promotes sensory play after story time to extend the learning through other senses like touch and smell.
The BSTL programme also supports sharing rhymes and songs with children, from babies right through to early primary-school age. Nursery rhymes and songs are an extremely important part of children’s learning, language development and education. Research has proven that children who know nursery rhymes well by a young age are better able to develop the skills they need before they learn to read and spell (Morris & Leavey, 2006).
The books chosen for the BSTL  programme aim to appeal to children visually, as they are coloured and vibrant, they contain ideas familiar to them such as animals, families and everyday things and because of their good plot structure. They also allow children the opportunity to join-in with the story as they can join-in or re-tell familiar parts because of rhyme, catch phrases and repetition (Murrow, 1989). Books with a repetitive line or theme help children to understand, re-tell and join in with a story. Repetition is used to make stories interesting and engaging for readers and young children find it useful for understanding and telling stories because of its predictability (Tompkins & McGee in Muth, D., 1989). These stories also support interaction during story time proven to improve children language and literacy levels. Reading aloud with children and having a conversation about the story make children active participants.
Story-telling with young children that happens early on in their lives and often, has long-lasting benefits for children. Children make greater progress in language development, pre-reading skills and reading levels when they have been exposed to books and stories early on and often (Bus, van IJzendoorn, & Pellegrini, 1995).
WE are delighted to be rolling out our Bringing stories to life programme with early years and preschool services in 2022. This year we hope to get to services and meet parents with their children to support Early Years Educators to run family story time sessions in their service.
Launch of the National Parenting Model
The National Model for Parenting Support Services will be launched by Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O'Gorman on 27th April - watch the PEIN website and social media for more news!

Do you ever ask yourself “why does he run away when I try to play?”, “what can I do to help him talk?”, or “what am I supposed to do when she stammers?”
Check out this YouTube playlist of 2-3 minute videos created for parents, grandparents, carers and anyone who works with young children. It can be difficult to find easy-to-follow, evidence-based advice and tips. Each video in this playlist is short, straightforward, and can be re-watched whenever needed.  
If you find a video helpful or informative you can share the knowledge by sending it to family, friends, and colleagues. 
Thanks to feedback from parents and colleagues there will be more videos to come in the future - so watch this space!

Investigating the mental health and wellbeing of young Arabic-speaking migrants from conflict-affected countries
Migrant children typically experience poor mental health and wellbeing due to their experience of  conflict, violence and family separation pre-migration, as well as additional social and cultural challenges in their host countries. The SALaM (Study of Adolescent Lives after Migration) Ireland Study is part of a larger programme called ‘SALaMA’ (Study of Adolescent Lives after Migration to America) conducted by Washington University and Qatar Foundation International. This study, based in Maynooth University, is led by Professor Sinéad McGilloway, and assesses the mental health and wellbeing of students aged 13-18 years who have resettled to Ireland from Arab-majority countries, and the supports available to them.
Preliminary findings from a series of interviews conducted with statutory agencies and NGOs who serve Arabic-speaking families, found that a large number of adolescents were often “placed in classes that were age-appropriate with no English, with no understanding of the curriculum.” Some refugees were non-literate in their own language and had limited prior access to education.
Service providers reported high levels of anxiety and loneliness among children, and poor language skills significantly impacted their ability to integrate and make friends within the community:“These children have been isolated. They've been isolated by the war .. and now they're living in communities and they're isolated. .. it is such a lonely place to be to be in a classroom,and literally not understanding a word.”
Initial findings also suggest that schools are ill-equipped to manage the varying educational, language and socioemotional needs of these students. Furthermore, the pandemic has had long-term effects on these children’s education and language skills, suggesting that they are likely to need support into the future.
Data collection in schools is currently being undertaken directly with students to assess their wellbeing and hear their views of resettlement in Ireland. The findings should help to inform school practices and policies to better support this population in Ireland and elsewhere. Our study is particularly topical and relevant given the current influx of Ukrainian refugees to Ireland, and we anticipate the findings will highlight common barriers to integration and identify appropriate supports to address the health and educational needs of refugee populations both in Ireland and farther afield.
For further information contact Yvonne Leckey 087 698 1922 /
Team members include: Yvonne Leckey (Project Manager), Professor Sinéad McGilloway (Principal Investigator), Dr Rita Sakr, Dr Anthony Malone, Jack Horgan, Eman Abusalameh, Alaa Alosh and Penny Quinn.
Meet Cliona, the Katherine Howards Foundation's new CEO

Dr. Cliona Hannon is the Chief Executive Officer of the Katharine Howard Foundation and a Chen Yidan Visiting Global Fellow in Harvard University 2021-2022.

Cliona was formerly Director of the Trinity Access Programmes (1999-2021), Trinity College Dublin and a Visiting Fellow and Course Director in Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University (2016-21). She has developed a range of innovative courses to diversify admissions into selective universities and to prepare teachers in socio-economically challenged communities to lead change in their classroom, school and communities. She is an expert on the development of educational outreach and admissions routes for students from under-represented socio-economic groups, which has transformed admissions in Trinity College Dublin, the University of Oxford  and the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Cliona has a BA (History and Sociology), MA (Development Studies), MBA and a PhD (Sociology of Education). She has published a book on use of the capability approach as an evaluative lens for student development in less advantaged communities. She has also published on the financing of higher education, international admissions policies and leadership in higher education.

She took up the role of Chief Executive Officer of KHF in January 2022.

The CES are hosting this event in May following on from their work in Building Connections Strengthening Families.

We want to hear from you - do you have a story to share or something you'd like to highlight with the PEIN membership? If so email and you might make the next edition!
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Prevention & Early Intervention Network · Coolock Development Centre · 17 Bunratty Drive, Dublin 17 · Dublin, Co. Dublin D17 WP30 · Ireland

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