ItemWho Cares About Our Under 5s?(Barnardos, 1990) BarnardosIn 1989 the Combat Poverty Agency funded research commissioned by OMEP into pre-school provision in the greater Dublin area. The research work was carried out by Dr Jo Murphy-Lawless of SUS Research and a report entitled ‘Playing for Keeps’ was published in the Autumn of 1989. Much of the research work for the report had been carried out in Tallaght with parents, playgroup leaders and workers involved in the child-care field. Dr Murphy-Lawless, at the request of Barnardo’s, held a workshop in St Muirin’s House, Tallaght, on the research findings. From this workshop a planning group decided to highlight the report’s findings through a seminar which would also raise the issue of funding for services for the Under-Five’s in Tallaght. ItemBuilding Blocks Guidelines(Barnardos, 2016) Murphy, AileenBarnardos delivers parent and child groups, often referred to as parent and toddler groups, as part of its services to families in disadvantaged areas. This document identifies the core components of parent and toddlers groups within Barnardos and provides a framework for projects to plan and deliver groups which meet the needs of the families. Within this report, all Barnardos’ parent and toddlers groups will be referred to as Building Blocks groups. ItemChildcare for the Canal Communities: A Feasibility Study on Behalf of the Canal Communities Partnership(Barnardos, 1997) Morris, MargaretThe area covered by the Canal Communities Partnership comprises Bluebell, Inchicore North and South, Islandbridge, Kilmainham and Rialto. The Partnership’s Area Action Plan 1997-2000 provides a detailed socio-economic profile of the area based on figures from the 1991 Census. These are the statistics referred to in this overview and elsewhere in this study. According to the 1991 Census the total population for the Canal Communities Partnership area was 13,079. In terms of deprivation, with the exception of part of Inchicore, all the areas in the Partnership have a Mean Rank Factor Score of 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 for disadvantage. Part of East Inchicore, which is the exception referred to above, has a Mean Rank Factor of 8. The Area Action Plan describes the area as having “a depressing litany of deprivation indicators”. As the focus of this study is on the provision of childcare facilities to enable the most disadvantaged sections of the community avail of training, education or employment the following indicators of deprivation are particularly relevant. These are based on the 1991 Census. Lone parent families account for 40% of all family units in the area, over twice that of the national average (15.5%). Of these parents, 42.9% have children under fifteen years of age i.e. nearly four times higher than the national average of 10.8%. The Partnership area as a whole had an unemployment rate of 29.4% with indications that the 1996 figures are significantly higher than this. Both the male and female rates of unemployment were recorded at almost twice the national average. Moreover, the number of unemployed people in receipt of social welfare assistance indicates that nearly three quarters of the unemployed in the area are long term unemployed or have never worked. According to the 1991 Census 53% of the Partnership population ceased their education before or at the age of fifteen compared to a national average of 36.1%. Only 4% of the population continued education after nineteen years of age compared to the national average of 8.2% and regional average of 10.6%. For the purpose of this study it is also important to understand the background to the establishment of the Canal Communities Partnership. In 1993 neither Bluebell nor any part of Inchicore were included, initially, as one of the intended areas for new partnership developments. Meanwhile Rialto had already compiled an Area Action Plan with a view to joining the Dublin Inner City Partnership. When these areas, as well as Islandbridge and Kilmainham, were eventually designated for development as one Area Partnership it brought together four communities which see themselves as distinct in their own right and separate from each other. Prior to the establishment of the Area Partnership Company (APC) in 1996 a community consultation process was undertaken by Community Action Network (CAN) on behalf of the Partnership Advisory Group. It became evident during that process that each of the areas within the Partnership has its own strong and separate identity, that they each have a different experience of community development and that until now there has been little contact between them. “Physically, it is a small area, but in the minds of many, it is large with its parts distant from each other” (Community Consultation : Report from CAN to Partnership Advisory Group. March 1996) Taking into account this lack of one clear identity within the area CAN recommended that the Partnership Board work through four local Networks while at the same time establish working groups dealing with single issues across all four Network areas. These Network areas are Bluebell, Rialto, South Inchicore, known locally as East Inchicore, and North Inchicore, known locally as Oblates Inchicore. In view of these structures this study will examine existing childcare provision and childcare needs on a Network by Network basis. In line with its terms of reference research will concentrate on the “most disadvantaged groups and communities” within the Partnership area. These groups and communities are for the most part found in the local authority flats complexes. ItemPerspectives on Youth Crime: Discussion Papers from Barnardos and the Irish Penal Reform Trust(Barnardos and the Irish Penal Reform Trust, 2000) Barnardos; The Irish Penal Reform TrustCrimes committed by young people represent a substantial proportion of all crime. Although in the main they tend to be of a relatively minor nature, their prevalence and the associated potential impact on victims and, indeed on the young offenders themselves, demand study and debate. In particular, both the causes and effects of youth crime together with the identification of measures which might reduce its incidence demand investigation. In considering the profile of youth crime it is evident that most young people who come into conflict with the law have experienced social and educational disadvantage in one form or another. It is necessary, therefore, to include an analysis of these conditions in any consideration of the problem and how it might be ameliorated. It is also important to remind ourselves that under eighteen year olds are children as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Ireland has ratified. Communities which have experienced prolonged exposure to disadvantage are all too easily stereotyped in terms of their high levels of poverty, unemployment, poor standards of housing and general environmental infrastructure, below average educational achievement and so forth. It is all too easy to write off such places as bleak and dangerous ghettos stalked by hopelessly inadequate and anti-social children. But we do so at our peril. Barnardos’ experience in providing support services to children and families in many disadvantaged communities throughout Ireland is that, while they certainly have suffered from the ravages of official neglect, counterproductive policies and social discrimination, they also exhibit great resilience and warmth, and significant degrees of heroism in the face of adversity. And while they may experience high levels of crime and disorder, the ingredients of a solution are often present. Indeed, with the introduction of the family conference concept, it is becoming increasingly recognised that solutions to youth crime require the active involvement of families and communities. lf we are serious about reducing the incidence of crime perpetrated by young people we will need to begin by addressing the causes of inequality and disadvantage in our society. For example, we will need to invest heavily in early childhood care and education as critical first steps towards ensuring that all children have an opportunity to realise their full potential. And it is important that this be seen as an investment, rather than a cost. It will become a cost if we fail to invest. Research from the United States has indicated that for every $1 invested at the pre-school stage there is a saving of $7 in reduced government expenditure, including criminal justice interventions such as prison and probation. Measures such as early child development programmes, sympathetic educational regimes and family support services can have a positive impact on the incidence of youth crime, but will not eliminate it. A broader political shift is also required. It is vital that any official response emphasises community-based alternatives and diversion from prosecution. Detention must be relegated to the option of last resort. ‘Populist punitiveness’ is not the way forward. It is essential that a comprehensive range of measures that recognises the causes and effects of youth crime and encompasses appropriate and effective sanctions be provided, based on solid research and experience. The Irish Penal Reform Trust and Barnardos have come together to produce these papers on youth crime as an aid to understanding the phenomenon and developing a more appropriate and effective response than has obtained to date. The recent publication of the Children Bill 1999 and the consequent debate as it proceeds through the Oireachtas provide a context for the consideration of these papers. While these are not definitive policy statements, both the Irish Penal Reform Trust and Barnardos hope that our collaboration is seen as a positive contribution, not only to this debate, but to the achievement of a reduction in the incidence of youth crime and the design of more acceptable outcomes for both victims and offenders.