December 2015 newsletter


1. CDI Service Outputs, September 2014 – 2015
2. Appointment of Research and Evaluation Officer

3. Launch of video 'Defying Gravity'
4. RP training Spring / Summer 2016
5. Alternatives to Violence Project training
6. Update - Family Links in Limerick Prison
7. New Coordinator of Prevention & Early Intervention Network
8. Upcoming conferences
9. A Farewell to Emma Freeman
10. Nurture service available for new mothers

1. CDI Service Outputs, September 2104 – August 2015

Following is a summary of outputs from our work during September 2014 – August 2015. (Most of CDI’s work is delivered in alignment with the school year calendar). 

During this period CDI coordinated seven intervention programmes, five in Tallaght and two in Limerick. Six of the programmes were funded under the ABC programme and one through the Katherine Howard Foundation and the Community Foundation of Ireland.

Doodle Den
Doodle Den was delivered to 285 children through 19 groups in Tallaght, Ballyfermot, Dublin City Centre, Limerick and Carlow. An assessment of the service found an average gain of 21% in the children’s phonics, 54% in their writing skills and 56% in sight vocabulary.
Doodle Families
This was under pilot in three schools in Limerick during the year. It provides follow on literacy support after Doodle Den, focusing on family literacy. The first phase of evaluation took place which focused on identifying and developing the best approach to implementing the programme.
Parental Support in Early Years
The programme’s Parent Carer Facilitators worked with 578 families in the Tallaght West. 170 parents and 400 children were referred to various agencies for support. The Parents Plus course was completed by 41 parents and five services ran parent and toddler groups attended by 46 children and 36 adults.
Chit Chat
There were 121 referrals to the Chit Chat early intervention speech and language service and 856 therapy sessions were attended. Ten coffee mornings were attended by 80 parents and a speech and language booklet was produced together with the HSE and South Dublin County Childcare Committee.
Restorative Practices
Training in Restorative Practices was delivered to 550 people including: 314 in Getting Started, 117 in Upskilling, 65 in the Summer Course for Teachers and 54 in Train the Trainer. CDI also continued to play a lead role in the development of Restorative Practices nationally.
Antenatal to Three Initiative (ATTI)
A needs analysis of services for 0-3 year olds in Tallaght was completed and the Report published. A dedicated speed networking event took place which was attended by 56 different providers. Public talks on peri-natal depression, attachment theory and domestic violence were fully attended. 
Family Links
This is a new programme under pilot in Limerick prison, funded through the Katherine Howard Foundation and the Community Foundation for Ireland. Training in child protection, community services and increased empathy was provided to 14 Prison Officers and Teachers. Parents Plus training was delivered to 20 staff including Prison Officers, Teachers and Community workers. Parents Plus was also provided to nine prisoners and their partners. Six finished the course and 20 children were involved.

2. Appointment of Research and Evaluation Officer

CDI has a commitment to using research to inform our work and being a producer of evidence in terms of the independent evaluations. With the ending of our funding under the Prevention and Early Intervention Programme (PEIP), this aspect of our work was significantly limited.

However, we have recently received a small additional funding to reinvigorate this important aspect. We are therefore delighted to introduce our new Research and Evaluation Officer, Bernadette Rock, to Tallaght West. She has worked in the area of childhood obesity and holds a PhD in Sociology and a Masters in Sociology and Social Research from UCD. 

Bernadette has researched and developed a new programme that helps people develop a healthy relationship with food and weight, and drew strongly on sociological theory and acceptance-based strategies. 

She will have oversight of research related to the Ante-Natal to Three Initiative, Family Links, finalising archiving from our evaluations and coordinating funding evaluations related to our current work.
In addition, Bernadette will lead a community survey to follow up on our previous studies, How are our Kids? and How are our Families? In the New Year, we will begin to gather information from the community to inform our next report How is our Neighbourhood?. 
In addition to appointing a part-time Research and Evaluation Officer, the grant will enable us to undertake an evaluation of Doodle Families, the family literacy programme developed as a follow up to Doodle Den.  Whilst an evaluation of the Limerick pilot is near competition, our funders have asked that a more rigorous, comparative study, be undertaken, given the strength of evidence supporting Doodle Den.

3. Launch of video 'Defying Gravity'

CDI took to the IMC in Tallaght early one recent Monday morning to launch Defying Gravity, a video narrative which tells the story of CDI's work in Tallaght West since 2007.
The launch was an emotional event attended by parents and children who have been involved in CDI's work, and also Senator Katherine Zappone who was one of the original architects behind the development of an early intervention programme in Tallaght West.

Defying Gravity can be
viewed here.

We would encourage our friends and partners to view it as you all have been a part of this story – and a part of its evolution into the future.

4. RP training Spring / Summer 2016

Restorative Practices Training – Getting Started
This training will take place over two mornings, a week apart, and provides an overview of Restorative Practices along with practical tools for your daily life. CDI is offering five Getting Started with Restorative Practices courses on the following dates:
  1. January 20 & 27, 9.30am – 1pm
  2. March 2 & 9, 9.30am – 1pm
  3. April 6 & 13, 9.30am – 1pm
  4. May 11 & 18, 9.30am – 1pm 
  5. June 8 & 15, 9.30am – 1pm. 
Fee: €95 (concessions available).

Restorative Practices Training –  Upskilling
This training is open to people who have completed our Getting Started with Restorative Practices course and takes place over three days. It provides participants with the tools and confidence to facilitate restorative circles, restorative meetings and restorative conferences. We are offering three Restorative Practices Upskilling courses on the following dates:
  1. February 24, 25 & 26, 9.30am – 5pm
  2. April 27, 28 & 29, 9.30am – 5pm
  3. June 22, 23 & 24, 9.30am – 5pm. 
Fee: €225 (concessions available)

5. Alternatives to Violence Project training

CDI was delighted to host two workshops facilitated by volunteers with Alternatives to Violence Project, Ireland (AVP). 

The AVP training programme enables participants to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways and it has developed largely through work in prisons.
We were very fortunate to host community-based workshops in AVP in Tallaght as it provided an opportunity for local RP Trainers and practitioners to undertake useful continuing professional development. CDI looks forward to hosting further workshops with AVP in 2016.

A further eight prison staff at Limerick Prison have participated in Family Liaision Officer training, with a further 14 staff attending Front of House training. Delivery of the Parent Plus Programme commenced in mid November, with six prisoners and their partners.

Evaluation of the Family Links Programme by the University of Limerick is ongoing.

7. New Coordinator of Prevention & Early Intervention Network

CDI is delighted to announce the part-time secondment of CDI Quality Specialist Gráinne Smith to the acting role of Coordinator of the Prevention and Early Intervention Network (PEIN), to cover maternity leave.

A big congratulations to Winnie Donoghue on the birth of her baby boy in early November.

Gráinne will take over the coordinating role on a two day week basis (Wednesdays and Thursdays), during Winnie's maternity period. We would like to wish Gráinne well in her new role.

The Network has been busy progressing its
Hands Up for Children campaign which has been doing local launches with member organisations across the country. The campaign will be focusing on getting its message on the social and economic case for prevention and early intervention to political parties and election candidates, in order that these principles will inform the next Programme for Government.  

If you haven't already done so, you can sign up to the campaign


8. Upcoming Conferences

CDI Quality Specialist Grainne Smith, in collaboration with a representative from Bedford Row and Limerick Prison, will present their experience of delivering the Parents Plus Programme in Limerick at the Parents Plus Innovations in Working With Families Conference.

Furthermore, Gráinne and Sonam Prakashini Banka (PhD Researcher, TCD), will present the fourth year follow-up findings from the Healthy Schools Programme at the Children's Research Network for Ireland and Northern Ireland Conference on December 10th.  Marian Quinn will also speak at this event, about CDI's experience of archiving data and maximising access to research information.

9. A farewell to Emma Freeman

We are sorry to see the departure of Antenatal to Three Initiative (ATTI) Coordinator Emma Freeman. Emma worked closely with the ATTI Steering Committee to implement activities which will improve services for this target group and we are grateful for her valuable contribution to Tallaght West.

We wish Emma every success in her new role with the HSE.


10. Nurture service available for new mothers

A Counsellor is available in Tallaght who specifically works with mothers who are struggling with pregnancy or the postpartum stage. She works with an organisation called Nurture and they can be contacted through A baby can be brought to the appointment if childcare is an issue.


Further Information?



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