The Parenting Support Initiative (PSI) was a collaborative partnership between the Katharine Howard Foundation and the Community Foundation for Ireland. It was a three year (2013-2016) strategic grants programme with a focus on children from birth to 3 years and their parents, with a particular emphasis on supporting parents in their parenting role. PSI aimed to support a number of projects in socio economically disadvantaged areas or specifically disadvantaged target groups engaged in collaborative approaches to working with parents of children from birth to 3 years.
Below is a map listing the 15* Core Funded Projects under the PSI.
*Originally there were 16 Projects -Longford Community Resource Ltd. finished up as part of the PSI in 2015.
43 Once-off grants were also allocated to Projects around the country as part of the Initiative.
PSI Objectives included
- Strengthening prevention & early intervention supports for young children and families to achieve better health, wellbeing, and learning outcomes.
- Reinforcing the developmental role of both community and national based services working directly with children from birth to 3 years and their parents (Children & Young People’s Services Committees; Family
Resource Centres & other Community based services).
- Strengthening the links between existing health and community based services to support a holistic approach to meeting the needs of infants and young children.
- Building and sharing the learning from initiatives such as the Prevention & Early Intervention Programme now known as the Area Based Childhood Programme
PSI was successfully completed in 2017 with 14 of the original 16 projects still engaged. A framework for a review process was developed by KHF in consultation with the PSI Advisory Group and the projects. An independent facilitator was contracted to undertake the review. The review began in December 2016 and was completed in April 2017 and a report on this process was produced in June 2017 which captures much of the key learning. This Review Process summary report was then presented, shared and reviewed with the projects at a Networking Event on 31 May 2017. The report was also disseminated to a number of key policy stakeholders.
KHF has completed an edition of its Community Matters series no. 7, which provides a summary of the Initiative. The summary includes the rationale for PSI, KHF’s approach to planning and developing PSI and an outline of the different project themes. The three key elements of the Initiative are highlighted - collaborative working, engaging parents and training in and delivery of Parenting Support Programmes.
Central to this work is the recognition of the importance of capturing and sharing the learning from PSI both with the projects involved and with other organisations, agencies and funders with a commitment to supporting parents and young children.
The Foundation remains committed to this area of work and is even more aware of the importance of prevention and early intervention strategies and approaches in supporting parents with a focus on improving outcomes for children.