youngballymun is an active ten year prevention and early intervention strategy - learn more about our journey, what we have done and what we intend to do

2007: youngballymun is set up

Local area needs, strengths and resources analyses; independently facilitated service design teams with members from health, education, community, youth sectors; in-depth discussions on key issues for children and families; research into the international and national evidence on the most effective response to real needs; the life cycle strategy endorsed.



2008: Service design stage ends and first services open

The detailed design work for each service closes, local partners for service delivery are engaged and each service is named. Links established with international experts.

The move towards service delivery and training and capacity building with local partners starts.


2009: All services are up and running; A Child Is Born conference opened by President Mary Mc Aleese

Staff allocated across all services; training and capacity building in evidence-based practice continues

Service Implementation Teams are set up for each service with a broad membership to oversee and support staff in the delivery of the services

Communications and  engagement with local residents, families and partners progresses

By end of 2009, services are in full implementation

Inaugural 'A Child is Born' conference opened by President Mary McAleese, and addressed by Dr. Stuart Shanker  an international expert in infant brain development and the vital stage of infancy in building the foundations for life.


2010: Embedding prevention and early intervention in local services

youngballymun's detailed Implementation plan completed; services in ongoing delivery across the community, embedded in health services, early years services, schools and education support services, youth and community projects.

Evaluation process begins with requests for tenders for independent evaluations of all services and of youngballymun as a change agent

Second annual conference, '3,4,5 Children Thrive' with key note address by Larry Schweinhart, lead researcher on the High Scope / Perry Pre School study.


2011: Joined-up services 'practice and learning; youngballymun in the Programme for Government

Ongoing delivery, embedding and expansion  of services; revised logic models for each service reflecting practice developments; concentrated focus on service integration and the systems and processes needed for integrated services

The Dialogue development programme to build a model for integrated service designed.

youngballymun cited as a model for replication in Programme for Government which refers to rolling out an area-based model to tackling child poverty (March 2011)

"We will adopt a new area based approach to child poverty, which draws on best international practice and existing services to tackle every aspect of child poverty. Initially, this model will be rolled out to up to ten of Ireland's most disadvantaged communities, in cooperation with philanthropic partners to co-fund and manage the project."


2012: Transition to second phase of funding; building links with other communities; sharing learning

The second phase of youngballymun begins - embedding our Prevention and Early Intervention Practice into mainstream services and to ensuring that the policy field, funding systems and practice capacity allows prevention and early intervention to be self-sustaining from 2016. 

youngballymun responds to invitations from communities experiencing significant disadvantage to share the youngballymun model and the learning; the Government  commit to implementing their area-based strategy to tackle child poverty  as a priority for 2012-13.


2013: Sharing experience through mentoring and capacity building; learning together

Continued focus on securingongoing improvements in education, health and mental health outcomes of children and young people in Ballymun, embedding prevention and early intervention. 

Continued work on key policy domains such as literacy, infant mental health, parenting supports

Active in partnership and collaboration with selected communities in actions to implement the Government commitment to develop a shared strategy to  'a new area based approach to child poverty' Service design, incorporating data collection and evaluation systems underway


2014:Active prevention and intervention community networks

Prevention and early intervention service strategies developed in a number of disadvantaged communities; active practice networks focussed on training and capacity building in evidence-based practice; service and strategy promotion at community level

Ballymun exchanges and shares learning and resources; Ongoing attention to embedding and measurement in Ballymun; continued advocacy and policy focus


2015: Measurable and sustained gains in learning and wellbeing outcomes for children

The impact of a sustained life cycle strategy has been measured and appraised through the ongoing evaluation programme in Ballymun; data collection and analysis systems continue to monitor and track progress; partners are actively engaged in the collective interpretation of outcome data.

In 2015 youngballymun engaged in a rigorous evaluation appraisal process, presenting data collected since the outset of the initiative to an independent expert jury.   This jury issued their findings in December 2015.  Full information on youngballymun's outcomes data and the expert jury's appraisal can be found here

2016: Planning for the future...

youngballymun's present contract, under the Area Based Childhood programme, ceases in July 2016, although the Programme itself is scheduled to continue to mid 2017. In recognition of the need to align close dates and learning, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs has requested youngballymun to prepare and discuss plans for a contract extension to the end of 2016/mid 2017, albeit in the context of the planned closure of the organisation.

youngballymun is working to secure a renewed focus, in the context of the next Programme for Government, on the challenges presented by child poverty - for children themselves, their parents,  key service providers around the child and wider society and on a national child poverty strategy. 

The progress made collectively in Ballymun in securing improved child wellbeing and learning outcomes can be extended to larger populations of children.

youngballymun looks forward to being part of that work, ensuring that integrated prevention and early intervention practice is located in the context of a multidimensional approach to tackling child poverty.