Paint, Sand and Computers: A Review of Barnardos' Children and Technology Programme Eastern Region.Coastal

Canavan, A. (2004). Paint, Sand and Computers: A Review of Barnardos' Children and Technology Programme Eastern Region.Coastal.
This report presents a review of 'Paint, Sand and Computers', a pilot programme which aims to introduce the medium of technology into Barnardos' work with children and families. The Children and Technology Programme was introduced in the Eastern Region.Coastal area of South Dublin towards the end of 2000. Barnardos is one of the foremost childcare and family support services in Ireland. It provides a diverse range of services to families and communities through a number of specialist national services and through an increasing number of family support services located throughout the country. The family support services offer practical help to children and families under stress or in difficulty. These services are needs led and are provided on an individual and group basis. Children referred to these services present with a high level and a multiplicity of need, for example, homeless and living in bed and breakfast and hostel accommodation; parental addiction; being parented by young, lone parents; parents in detention and/or involved with the criminal justice system; developmental delay, particularly language delay; child protection; and challenging behaviour. The family support service offers a variety of services including group therapeutic work for children aged one to three and three to six years, after school programmes for children over the age of four, individual child work, individual parent work, group parenting programmes, parent & toddler groups and child and parent work. The family support service also provides drop-in services such as toy libraries and information services. The specialist national services, which have been developed by Barnardos, include the National Children's Resource Centre, a unique source of information, training, publications, research and policy on all matters relating to children; the Adoption Advice Service, and Sólás, bereavement counselling service for children who have lost someone close to them. Other national services include the Guardian ad Litem, representing children's best interests in legal proceedings, and Origins, an information and tracing service. In addition to providing national and local services, Barnardos also plays a prominent role in lobbying and campaigning for positive change in relation to the welfare of children and families in Ireland, especially families and children who are living in poverty and disadvantaged circumstances. Barnardos has been working in the Eastern Region.Coastal area of South Dublin since the 1980s. Barnardos provides services mainly in the areas of 4 introduction Dun Laoghaire and Loughlinstown/Ballybrack. Dun Laoghaire is a large town situated ten miles south of Dublin City. It is situated in the East Coast Area Health Board and the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown local authority area. Dun Laoghaire is usually regarded as an affluent and middle class area. However, there are a number of communities within this area which experience high levels of socio-economic disadvantage. The Southside Partnership works in twenty-one areas of disadvantage, and Loughlinstown, Shanganagh, and Shankill are within the RAPID area. The area is also covered by a local drugs task force. The Loughlinstown and Ballybrack areas, which are also within the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown local authority region, comprise a number of local authority housing estates. Unemployment, early school leaving and poverty are a feature of these areas. Barnardos works with those families who experience the highest level of disadvantage, marginalisation and social exclusion.