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 PEIN POST       

A quarterly newsletter from the Prevention and Early Intervention Network  June 2022
A note from our Communications Chair
Dear Members,
Over the past number of years PEIN has been working hard to make the ever growing member organisation the go-to body for prevention and early intervention advice, commentary and expertise in Ireland. Developing a new communications strategy and implementing it has been a key driver of this activity over the past year and a half. Now more than ever, it is vital that we use all of the communications tools and channels at our disposal to communicate our work and highlight important news and events.  We aim to ensure the network is a valuable resource for all members by ensuring members are kept up to date on and inspired by relevant developments in the field of prevention and early intervention. We hold events to promote PEIN’s messages to a wider audience and to help increase membership, making the network stronger and more visible. To engage the wider public,  it is crucial that we engage the media and get coverage for our advocacy messages. This brings increased political and public awareness and understanding of prevention and early intervention and allows us to better advocate for change. Building this authoritative voice has seen us, over the past year and half, hold several events, including a political round table seminar that launched our PEIN position policy paper. We presented at the Oireachtas Committee for Children, launched a newsletter, started a podcast series and got coverage for our messages across local and national media outlets.  This year, we are seeking to harness the power of the personal stories of our members. We will be reaching out to all members and asking for assistance in this regard. We will also be developing a toolkit to help you to engage with local media in your area and to take the fear factor out of using social media. These tools are vital for us, not only to get the word out about our work, but also to ensure that we have the funding and services we need going forward.
PEIN also has a brand new website under construction, to be launched very soon. All members will be listed and we will use the site to promote news and stories from around the country. We hope all of this inspires confidence and commitment among current members and indeed to drive new membership and bring about greater awareness of PEIN’s vital work in these challenging times.
All the best,
Jennifer Hough is the Policy Research Officer with Alcohol Action Ireland, a member of the PEIN Executive Committee and the newly formed Trauma Informed Working Group and Chairperson of the PEIN Communications WG.
Meeting Beyond the Confines of Zoom
PEIN Executive Committee, had it's first face to face meeting, in the new PEIN office in Limerick
While working on-line enabled the world to continue to move during the pandemic, being able to meet in person certainly is something we are all really enjoying over the last few months. The PEIN Executive Committee (EC) held its first in-person, post pandemic meeting in Limerick last month and enjoyed a morning of information-sharing with local members and partners. No ice breakers were needed as almost every conversation began with ‘you’re much taller/smaller than you seem on screen’!
The meeting was an opportunity for the EC to visit the new PEIN base in the Southill Hub and to welcome their newest  EC colleague – Dr. Tracey Monson, CEO Daughters of Charity Child & Family Services - on board. A roundtable with local service partners focused on the role that prevention and early intervention can play in improving the lives of the children and families they work with. Using the recently launched PEIN position paper as the basis of discussion, inputs were provided by Karen O’Donnell O’Connor (Southill Hub), Sinéad Hickey (Limerick Tusla PPFS), David Studer (Limerick CYPSC), Ahmed Hassan Mohamed (Doras), Katie McCormack (Bedford Row Family Project) and Mary Harty (Northside Family Resource Centre). The overarching themes of the session included; the additional burden that Covid-19 placed on families that were already struggling; the untenable expectation that currently stretched resources can meet new and emerging needs; and the importance of integrated working at both strategic and operational levels to the achievement of better outcomes for children and families. The session was comprehensive and energetic, and will inform updates to the
position paper . One of the great strengths of the PEIN Executive Committee is its geographical representation, and while meetings will generally remain on-line, 2 to 3 in-person meetings/events every year will support regional networking and site visits around the country. So, while Zoom will remain a significant part of how we all work, the value of physical meetings will never be lost.
ABC sessions inspire attendees
The first in-person meeting of the ABC programmes in nearly three years took place recently in NCI.  This gathering allowed practitioners from all across Ireland to share their work and experiences and network with each other, as well as with other key stakeholders and partners from the wider sector, including statutory, community and voluntary agencies.  The Area Based Childhood Programme (ABC) operates at 12 sites around the country, in Dublin, Cork, Wicklow, Louth and Limerick, working in partnership with families, practitioners, communities, and national stakeholders to deliver better outcomes for children and families living in areas where poverty is most deeply entrenched. ABC envisions an Ireland where no child is impacted by poverty and all children are supported to reach their full potential.  The ABC Managers Network is a subgroup of PEIN. The experience of parents was front and centre with an inspiring presentation from Marie Boyne, who first engaged with the ABC Programme as a parent, before joining the Early Learning Initiative as a Home Visitor, where she undertook and completed a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care. Marie is now an ABC Programme Coordinator at NCI. In addition to direct services to children and families, ABCs are committed to capacity building and systems change and this was underlined by the launch of the ABC Infant Mental Health Framework.  Written by Susan Brockelsby and Debbie Scales, the paper outlines a continuum of IMH work across service delivery, capacity building and systems change, delivered at a promotion, prevention and early intervention levels. The session also heard about how ABCs have developed innovative and creative programmes to support oral language and communication in young children, which are foundational building blocks for long term success.  A lively Q&A followed with participation from national policy makers in DCEDIY, Tusla, HSE and CYPSC.  This session underlined the importance of early intervention and prevention and collaboration across the sector in order to support children and parents. On behalf of the ABC Managers and Programmes, I would like to express my appreciation to the organising committee, particularly Bernie Laverty, National ABC Project Lead as well as all our speakers on the day.  Particular thanks to all the staff at NCI who ensure the day ran without a hitch.  For more information and for copies of the Infant Mental Health Framework document and the forthcoming Oral Language please visit the ABC website: ABC Tusla
Niall Sexton
Chair, ABC Managers Network.

If you aren’t already subscribed to Perspectives on Prevention, then please do. 
Since our last newsletter, there have been two new episodes of our Perspectives on Prevention podcast.
Christine Dowling, a Project Worker with Extern on the Intense Home Support Scheme spoke with Marian about relationship based engagement, and how Christine develops sustainable supports for vulnerable families. You can listen to that episode here
Our most recent episode featured Sylda Langford, one of the most influential civil servants in the area of child and family services. Click here  to hear Sylda shares her experiences and insights relating to policy development, inter departmental work and accessing funding.

If you have any suggestions or contacts for future podcast guest, please let us know and help us grow our podcast series.

Parental perspectives on transitions 
PEIN is delighted to be the lead partner in an Erasmus+ (2020-2023) project in partnership with the UK (Leeds Beckett University), Bulgaria (the Marie Curie Association) and the European Parent’s Association. The project focuses on children’s transition from preschool to primary school, with a particular focus on the experiences of children living in areas of disadvantage and children with disabilities. We are particularly interested in exploring the perspective of parents, and have just completed a series of focus group across some of the ABC sites. We are also running a survey with parents of children in preschool and/or who have just completed Junior or Senior Infants. If you have those parents in your network that might like to take part, please get in touch with Maria or Stacey and we will send you out the details and link*. The wider we can cast the net geographically, the more informed our analysis will be so all help is much appreciated.
*’Why aren’t they just linking the survey here?’ we hear you ask. Good question! To support comparative analysis with our European partner’s data, we need to ensure that we are targeting similar cohorts of parents.
We need to be able to compare apples with apples, so we haven’t shared the survey broadly or on social media.
PEIN and Parenting Network Joint Session
Launch of the National Model of Parenting Support Services
May saw the launch of Supporting Parents – A National Model of Parenting Support Services. PEIN was part of the Reference Group during the development of the model, which aims to create a more coherent and strategic approach to the development and delivery of parenting support services so that all parents can access the support they need, when they need it. Shortly after the official launch of the model, Ciara Pidgeon, Principal Officer with the DCEDIY presented an overview of its key objectives and its development process to a joint member’s briefing for PEIN and The Parenting Network. Members from both Networks also presented on their experience of being part of the process: Marian Quinn (CDI)  and Tracey Monson (Daughters of Charity) gave an overview of the work of the Challenge Panel and the Collaborative Working Group, respectively. Highlights from the consultation process undertaken with parents were shared by Yvonne Leckey and Gráinne Hickey, with a particular focus on the importance of clear and consistent information. Questions around implementation, funding and next steps certainly made for a lively Q&A session. Notably, it was also the first joint PEIN /Parenting Network event and really highlighted the value and efficacy of collaborative working as a key factor in supporting parents and families.
Please find the link to the model here 
The work of Archways has been recognised over the last few months. They received the Excellence in Community Projects Award from the Irish Public Sector Magazine and were also a finalist at the 2022 Irish Healthcare Centre Awards for the Changing Lives Initiative project.
The innovative early intervention programme for families with children (3- 7 years) at risk of an ADHD diagnosis was shortlisted in the category of Healthcare Initiative: Child Health & Wellbeing.

Pictured are Christina Riordan, Changing Lives Initiative Project Manager and Hugh Doogan, CEO at the Irish Healthcare Centre Awards and members of the Senior Management Team with John Curran, Chairperson/Archways receiving their Excellence in Community Projects Award.
Treoir  (The National Federation of Services for Unmarried Parents and their Children) promotes the rights and best interests of unmarried parents and their children through providing specialist information and advocating for their rights.
Treoir operates a free, confidential, national, specialist information service for unmarried parents, their extended families and those working with them.  Our service is for unmarried parents, living together or apart, both opposite and same-sex. Information on Treoir and its services is available on Treoir has a long history of providing workshops on key issues affecting unmarried parents. Treoir would be happy to host a workshop to staff in your organisation on the legal rights and responsibilities of parents who are not married to each other. The workshop will clarify the legal situation in relation  to guardianship, access, custody, maintenance, cohabiting parents, unmarried fathers, step-parents, grandparents and relatives. Workshops can be tailored to respond to the needs of individual groups.
For further information contact:
Veronica Black
Information/Training officer
T: 01 67 00 120
M:085 8597 146
Request for tender for research on the imprisonment of mothers in Ireland. The deadline for submitting a tender is 11th July.

Infant Mental Health Resources
E- Learning Units on HSEland
In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  

Unit Target Objectives/Learning outcomes
Unit 1 Promoting IMH For PHNs, CMDs, PNs & all front line staff who have a role in promoting IMH Enable to support parents and caregivers in creating a secure relationship with their infant or toddler to promote overall health and wellbeing across a lifespan
  • Describe how the nature & quality of parent’s relationships with their infant toddler supports emotional & social development.
  • Observe and promote quality caregiving relationships which will encourage optimal IMH
  • Identify ways  parents can engage in positive interactions
  • Identify red flags in early caregiving relationships
Unit 2 Observing infant social and emotional development For PHNs, CMDs & PNs Help observe the social and emotional development of the infant within the context of the parent infant relationship
  • Describe a healthy secure relationship
  • Work in partnership with parents to promote strengths and identify vulnerabilities in the parent infant interaction
  • Understand the development of attachment
Unit 3
Using IMH approach in practice
For PHNs, CMDs & PNs Help apply an IMH informed approach to your observations of parent infant interactions during a child health assessment. This will support how you might respond to a parent to encourage the promotion of social and emotional development of the infant
Videos on My child website & HSE You Tube
A series of practical videos with HSE expert advice are now available on YouTube and on the my child website.
These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).
My child Posters available to order from

 Mychild website and Mychild books
The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books ( and also on  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.
ISPCC Shield Anti-Bullying Programme The Shield Anti-Bullying Programme is a digital resource evaluation tool and education programme, aimed at the prevention and intervention of bullying in the community and nationally. It is innovative as no other programme or anti-bullying organisation has an evaluation tool like ours, that allows participating organisations (schools/creches/youth clubs/sport clubs/residential settings etc.) to access online, and evaluate how effective their anti-bullying policies are, what more they could be doing regarding topics such as working within the community, diversity and recording incidences of bullying. This tool and programme are aimed at promoting well-being in the community by educating young people, staff, and all advocates against bullying on how to intervene when bullying occurs, and to eventually prevent widespread systemic bullying and mitigate the effects of bullying for young people in the long term. To sign up please visit or to learn more please contact
 'Smart Moves' is a resilience building programme for 6th class students and is facilitated and led by the 6th class teacher. This resilience building programme assists 6th class students with the transition from primary school to secondary school while also teaching valuable life skills to help them against challenges in their life now and in the future. The programme is free to schools and is also evidence informed. We can have the resources delivered to your school. These packs include all the workbooks for the students, the teacher’s manual including all the lesson plans as well as posters for the classroom. There are also short teachers’ videos available as well as a video for parents and a short video of 5 minutes to be shown in the classroom to students.  There are 15 lessons in total, each lesson lasting approx. 30 minutes. So far, over 100 schools across the country are signed up or taken part with amazing feedback and results.
  To sign up please visit or to find out more please contact
ABC Start Right Limerick: Team Around the Toddler Pilot
This spring, ABC Start Right teamed up with the Child and Family Centre (CFC) to deliver Team Around the Toddler, a bespoke family support programme for parents and children attending the early service. Spearheaded by early years practitioners, this programme uses play to support relationship building, and offers practical advice around specific topics. At drop off times, parents were invited to join a fun, interactive session with their children. Early years practitioners led the sessions, which revolved around working together on a specific task. A total of four sessions ran in the CFC toddler room in the April-June period. Parents, children and educators explored bedtime routines, dived into sensory play, talked about healthy snacks together, and celebrated different cultures through music and dance. Educators supported parents to jump in, have fun, and experience the joy in playful interactions with their toddler. A great time was had by all!
The Home Visiting Alliance – Building Home Visitor Capacity Through Peer-to-Peer Webinars
Established in November 2020, the Home Visiting Alliance is a collaboration of 5 Irish evidence-based early childhood home visiting programmes: Community Mothers, Infant Mental Health, Lifestart, ParentChild+ and Preparing for Life, which represents the collective national voice of early childhood home visiting. Since its conception, the Alliance has held four webinars in partnership with PEIN to share, develop and disseminate learning in PEI home visiting practices and approaches. A key focus is to bring Home Visitors together to build on their professional relationships through knowledge-sharing events. These online themed events, 4 in total, support Home Visitors to understand home visiting in Ireland as a collective approach. These webinars have included presentations from experts in the field from a global, European and Irish perspective including speakers from the Parenting Support Policy Unit in the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth (DCEDIY). The involvement of the DCEDIY, through the What Works Funding, is really appreciated and with the learning and insights from these webinars feeding into the development of the national model of Home Visiting as part of the First Five. Home visiting programmes are an essential component of any early intervention and prevention strategy. The new social reality post-Covid requires high-quality home-visiting programmes that address post-pandemic health risks and stress levels; while continuing to develop the parental skills required for children to reach their developmental milestones. The webinars build capacity within the Home Visitors by providing regular opportunities for peer interactions, project collaborations, and knowledge dissemination from within the home visiting teams. Webinar themes are decided based on the input of Home Visitors and our last event in May saw a focus on supportive and reflective supervision which is a key component of Home Visitor learning and development ultimately ensuring families across Ireland gain better service and community supports.
The Alliance is planning the next webinar for Autumn time, if you would like to learn more or give some input on the theme, please contact
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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