Other Areas of KHF’s Work

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The Foundation continues to work in partnership with statutory, community and voluntary organisations and other funders. This collaborative working is central to KHF’s approach to all of its work in supporting children and families with a key emphasis on the importance of prevention and early intervention in improving outcomes for children. The following section highlights some of this collaborative work:

Parenting Network

KHF is a member of the Steering Group of the Parenting Network. The Network was established in 2010 by the Centre for Effective Services (CES) as an all-Ireland Group with a focus on supporting parents in their parenting role. The Network includes organisation CEOs, including funders, professional bodies and practitioners engaged in direct work along with academics and professional researchers working in this sector. A number of Network meetings were held throughout 2019. In 2017, KHF undertook to provide the Parenting Network with administrative support on a short-term basis and also hosted the Network’s website until 2019.

The Network was successful in 2019 with its application to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for a Networking Grant to support the future development of the Network. Through this support, developments in 2019 included finalising a policy response to the First 5 Strategy Implementation Plan; building on the Network’s communication strategy with members, including the development of a website and; connecting with the new Parenting Policy Support Unit in DCYA. There was also a focus on a number of learning events, where member organisations came together to explore themes relevant to supporting parents. A Workshop on ‘co-production with parents’ is also planned for early 2020.

The Prevention and Early Intervention Network (PEIN)

(PEIN) is a network of evidence-based practice, advocacy and research organisations across the Republic of Ireland that share a commitment to improving outcomes for children, young people, and their communities. PEIN was originally funded through The Atlantic Philanthropies Disadvantaged Children and Youth Programme and it first met in 2010. KHF became a member in 2015 as a way of networking with other organisations with a focus on the importance of Prevention and Early Intervention and its life-long positive effects on outcomes for children and young people, such as better mental health and reduced juvenile crime. KHF is a member of the PEIN Executive Committee and supported the development of an updated PEIN policy paper on Early Intervention and Prevention in Child Health and Wellbeing during 2019.

Children’s Rights Alliance (CRA)

Start Strong evolved from the Irish Childcare Policy Network (ICPN) in 2009, with the aim of progressing the early care and education (birth-6 years) agenda in Ireland and also advocating for increased investment in support services. KHF was a founder member of ICPN and a funder since its start-up phase. The Foundation continued to provide funding to Start Strong along with The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Community Foundation for Ireland (multi-annual 2012-2015). As Start Strong planned its wind down as an organisation, KHF, together with the other two Foundations, remained committed to supporting this work and formalised an agreement with the Children’s Rights Alliance (CRA) to continue key elements of the work of Start Strong for a three-year period (2016-2019). CRA appointed an Early Years Manager and established an Advisory Group to inform the work. KHF is a member of the Advisory Group supporting CRA’s work in this area of common interest. The Katharine Howard Foundation is pleased that the funding of this Early Years Manager post has supported CRA to develop a new strategic early years focus. It also enabled the Alliance to develop additional significant expertise and knowledge with a view to improving long-term impacts for young children and their families.

Children’s and Young Peoples Services Committee (CYPSC)

In September 2019 the KHF Director completed her role as chairperson of the CYPSC National Steering Committee on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. The role involved supporting and guiding local CYPSCs in their work to achieve better outcomes for children and young people. The role also involved representing the CYPSC Initiative on the consortium of Better Outcomes Brighter Futures (the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020) and related working groups as requested by the DCYA. This included participating in advisory groups to plan for the transfer of the Area Based Childhood Programme to Tusla from September 2019 and the establishment of the WHAT WORKS initiative to support a move towards evidence informed prevention and early intervention services for children, young people and their families. KHF plans to continue to build on its positive relationship with DCYA.