February 2015 newsletter

February Newsletter

1. 9,000 visitors to

2. Findings on inter-agency collaboration for 0-3 year olds

3. New restorative practices resources launched

4. Doodle Families to begin pilot phase

5. 'Parenting Tips' website to be launched in April

6. Family in Prison Programme receiving strong support

7. Changes to Board and new Mainstreaming Committee

8. New Additions to the CDI Family.


1. 9,000 visitors to

CDI is delighted with the response to which has had almost 9,000 visitors since it was launched last September. 

The site features a range of literacy activities based on the manual for the Doodle Den Programme. Children can visit six different houses which are filled with activities that range from phonics and sight words, to writing, sentence structure and grammar.
Children are also invited to send in their work which can then be displayed in the library of the website. We have also developed a Facebook page which has proven to be a great way of sharing news from Doodle Den groups around the country, as well as about resources and events. 


2. Findings on inter-agency collaboration for 0-3 year olds

CDI’s Antenatal to Three Initiative (ATTI) hosted a Speed Networking Event attended by more than 50 individuals from organisations across Tallaght.

ATTI programme Evaluator, Neil Haran, gave a presentation of findings on levels of interagency work in Tallaght West in the antenatal to three cohort. The research showed that although there was a lot of informal work being carried out between agencies, there was a need for more formal structures and increased knowledge of services.
The event was a first step in developing enhanced interagency work and improved pathways of care for families and young children. Attendees requested that this event be held on an annual basis. 

3. New restorative practices resources launched

CDI and the national Restorative Practices Strategic Forum (RPSF) were delighted to have Fr. Peter McVerry launch two important Restorative Practices resources.   

The first was the RPSF’s Towards Excellence in Restorative Practices – A Quality Assurance Framework for Organisations and Practitioners. Written by Dr. Kieran O’Dwyer, the Framework draws on best practice at home and abroad to outline the values and principles underpinning restorative practices (RP). 

Fr McVerry also launched A Community Wide Restorative Practices Programme – Implementation Guide. Written by CDI’s Claire Casey, the Guide draws together the learning from research and CDI’s experience of implementing an RP Programme in Tallaght over the past five years. 

4. Doodle Families to begin pilot phase

The pilot of CDI’s new Family Literacy programme, Doodle Families, is to get underway in the coming weeks.
Doodle Families has been developed to support the home learning environment and provide a booster programme for children who have previously participated in Doodle Den. The idea came from some schools who have found Doodle Den very beneficial, and we are really looking forward to seeing how families find the programme.
Taking place over a series of eight sessions, families will participate in fun literacy activities that will relate to their own personal experiences and lead to them creating their own personalised family story. The pilot will be run and evaluated in Limerick. 

5. 'Parenting Tips' website to be launched in April

CDI, working with the Child and Family Agency Tusla, has been developing a website which includes '50 Key Messages for parenting'. It is nearing completion and set to launch in April.
It will offer very practical tips for parents and also be a great resource for practitioners.

6. Family in Prison Programme receiving strong support

Discussions and planning have been ongoing to get CDI’s new Family in Prison Programme (FIPP) up and running.
It involves adapting CDI’s parent-carer model for the Prison environment and is to be delivered to prisioners at Limerick prison and their families.
Training has been provided to some Prison Officers with more scheduled for March. The programme will be delivered before the summer. We will keep you updated.

7. Changes to Board and new Mainstreaming Committee

CDI takes great pride in good Governance as it gives us (and our funders) reassurance that our approaches, spending and strategy maximise the investment in our work.
We were very sorry to recently lose both Tommy Cooke and John McGarry from our Board. In addition to Board membership, Tommy also chaired our Communications Sub-Committee and John provided the same function for our Finance and Risk Sub-Committee. We deeply appreciate the time, enthusiasm and professionalism they contributed and wish them well.
Meanwhile, we welcome Professor Mary Corcoran to the Board. Mary is a leading Sociology expert (based at Maynooth University) and has been a member of our Expert Advisory Committee since CDI’s inception. She has also previously undertaken a number of research projects in Tallaght.
In light of the growing need to focus on the integration of our services, the Board has established a Mainstreaming Sub-committee, to inform and drive these activities. The Sub-committee will be chaired by Alice O’Flynn, who was the National Director for Social Inclusion in the HSE. 


8. New additions to the CDI Family

Two of our CDI team members welcomed their first babies at Christmas.
Michelle Butler (Strategy & Corporate Services Manager) and her husband Brian, welcomed their son Michael Seán on 8th December and Holly McGann (Administrative Assistant) and her partner Conor welcomed their son Rory Noel on Christmas Eve.
We’re really thankful and excited that both babies arrived safe and sound. We wish both parents joy and happiness in their new roles as proud parents. 

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