Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Questions (1077)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1077. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the review into the ABC programme. [3972/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

A national evaluation of the ABC Programme 2013-2017 was undertaken by the Centre for Effective Services (CES). Data was collected locally, at the area-level, in order to assess the effectiveness of the totality of the investment with regard to the main outcomes the programme aimed to address: Improved child health and development; Improved children’s learning and Improved parenting. The evaluation also looked at the impact of the ABC Programme on local service delivery, and at the costs associated with the delivery of the programme.

Overall, the national evaluation found evidence that the ABC Programme made

a positive contribution to:

1. Improved outcomes for children and families

2. Changes for practitioners and service managers participating in the Programme

3. Changes to service planning and delivery.

A range of qualitative and quantitative data was collected and analysed for the purposes of evaluation. These included outcomes data collected from the ABC areas, as well as data from surveys and interviews with practitioners, programme managers and other stakeholders. Given the local nature of data collected, there are currently no plans to publish the data sets.

The national evaluation was completed in October 2018 and a full report and summary report has been produced and is available on the What Works website and the CES website.

My Department initiated a process, in consultation with key ABC Programme stakeholders, to consider options for sustaining the work of the ABC Programme within a new vision for a community based prevention and early intervention programme from 2019 and beyond. Following these consultations, the decision was taken to transfer the current ABC Programme to Tusla, from September 2019 as part of the national Prevention, Partnership and Family Support Programme (PPFS).

This transition has now taken place and the new structure will build on the achievements to date in both the ABC and PPFS Programmes, and strengthen Tusla’s prevention and early intervention operations. As part of this national structure, it will take a renewed focus on addressing child poverty and inform the delivery of prevention and early intervention initiatives, improving the lives of children and families throughout Ireland.

The ABC National Evaluation - Full Report is available online at

https://whatworks.gov.ie/app/uploads/2019/04/National-Evaluation-of-the-Area-Based-Childhood-Programme-Report-Oct-2018.pdf